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Marathon to convert Martinez Refinery to make renewable fuels

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, a leading, integrated, downstream energy company headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, U.S.A., said its plan to convert its idled Martinez Refinery in California into a renewable fuels manufacturing facility has been approved by its Board of Directors. The company operates the largest oil refining system in the United States.

The former Shell refinery was idled last year, together with the Gallup Refinery in New Mexico, due to weak petroleum product demand because of the Covid-19 pandemic. At that time, Marathon Petroleum announced that the Martinez Refinery will be converted to a terminal facility.

“We are also evaluating the strategic repositioning of Martinez to a renewable diesel facility, which aligns with California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standards objectives and MPC’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, the company said.

At that time, the Martinez refinery, which had approximately 740 employees, had a crude oil capacity of 161,000 barrels per calendar day (bpcd).

Converting the Martinez facility from refining petroleum to manufacturing renewable fuels signals MPC’s strong commitment to producing a substantial level of lower carbon-intensity fuels in California, the company said.

“Marathon Petroleum is focused on meeting the world’s growing energy needs and reducing its carbon emissions intensity,” MPC President and CEO Michael J. Hennigan said. “Converting the Martinez refinery to a renewable fuels facility is an important addition to our growing portfolio of renewables projects and aligns with our strategic priorities of strengthening the competitive position of our assets, implementing commercial strategy changes and strategically deploying our capital.”

The Martinez facility is expected to start producing renewable diesel in 2022, with a build to full capacity in 2023. Engineering work is under way and MPC has applied for relevant permits.

At full capacity, MPC expects the Martinez facility to produce about 730 million gallons per year of renewable fuels – predominantly renewable diesel – from such bio based feedstocks as animal fat, soybean oil and corn oil.

Renewable diesel has a significantly lower carbon footprint than petroleum diesel. The Martinez conversion is also consistent with MPC’s company wide commitment to reduce greenhouse gas intensity (emissions per barrel of oil equivalent processed) 30% below 2014 levels by 2030. MPC estimates its conversion of the Martinez facility from petroleum refining to renewable diesel production will reduce the facility’s manufacturing greenhouse gas emissions by 60%, total criteria air pollutants by 70% and water use by 1 billion gallons every year.

Additional information about the Martinez Renewable Fuels project can be found on its website, http://www.MarathonMartinezRenewables.com.