ExxonMobil has awarded a contract to Bechtel to increase production of ultra-low sulfur fuels at its refinery in Beaumont, Texas to further boost its integrated downstream portfolio.

Under the contract, Bechtel will apply ExxonMobil's SCANfining technology to increase the production of ultra-low sulfur diesel and gasoline by approximately 40,000 barrels per day at the refinery.

Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals business unit president Jack Futcher said: “The Bechtel team will apply extensive technical knowledge and global experience to efficiently and safely deliver an enhanced refining facility at Beaumont.

"We look forward to continued collaboration with ExxonMobil as they work to expand production of ultra-low sulfur fuels at their facility."

Bechtel has already commenced design work on the Beaumont refinery upgrade project, which includes installation of a selective cat naphtha hydrofining unit which uses a catalyst system to remove sulfur while minimizing octane loss.

The SCANfining technology, which will be commissioned in 2018, is designed to produce gasoline which will meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 3 gasoline sulfur specifications.

Beaumont refinery manager Fernando Salazar said: “This specialised unit will improve our product yield, and demonstrates our technology advantage and focus on increasing energy efficiency.

“This project represents the largest capital investment in our Beaumont refinery operations in more than a decade, and will benefit the local economy with both temporary and full-time jobs.”

ExxonMobil’s Beaumont refinery comprises a 345,000 barrel-per-day capacity refinery, as well as chemical, lubricants and polyethylene plants.