The expansion of hydrocracking capacity in the US Gulf Coast (USGC) will increase diesel output and will fulfil Latin America’s diesel import requirement in 2013, according to Energy Security Analysis’s (ESAI) newly released Global Refining Outlook.

ESAI has predicted that US Gulf Coast diesel production will increase to 100,000b/d in 2013, which will allow USGC refiners to maintain strong diesel exports.

The middle distillate-focused downstream units will help the refiners to move towards middle distillates, which will reduce the dependence on gasoline, as well as reduce gasoline prices, as diesel demand will increase.

The USGC is expected to add about 200,000b/d of hydrocracking capacity in between 2012 and the first of 2013.

The diesel oriented projects will show impact in 2013, according to Energy Information Administration’s data.

The hydrocracking inputs was about 120,000b/d in the final quarter of 2012, which will add about 60,000b/d to middle distillate production.

The middle distillate production capacity will increase in the second quarter, with the start of second 60,000 hydrocracking project at Valero’s St. Charles refinery in Louisiana.