Marathon announces progress on renewable diesel projects

By Erin Voegele | February 02, 2022

Marathon Petroleum Corp. is working to optimize operations at its renewable diesel plant in Dickinson, North Dakota, and is ready to begin construction on the conversion of its refinery in Martinez, California. The company is also progressing with feedstock pretreatment projects.

Michael Hennigan, president and CEO of Marathon, discussed the renewable diesel and feedstock pretreatment projects during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, held Feb. 2.

Hennigan confirmed that the Dickinson facility is now operating at capacity and said the company has been “successfully optimizing the operation.” The Dickinson facility has the capacity to produce approximately 184 MMgy amd began producing renewable diesel in late 2020. The plant reached full production capacity in 2021.

Hennigan also discussed Marathon’s work to secure feedstock for the Dickinson plant. A pretreatment facility in Beatrice, Nebraska, began operations in March 2021 and can process approximately 3,000 barrels per day of advantaged feedstock for the Dickinson plant, he said. In January 2022, Marathon successfully started up its Cincinnati pretreatment plant, a converted biodiesel facility that will provide approximately 2,000 barrels per day of feedstock to the Dickinson plant.

Work is also underway to develop a soybean crush facility in North Dakota that will provide 5,000 barrels per day of feedstock to the Dickinson plant. In December 2021, Marathon closed on a joint venture with ADM to develop that facility in Spiritwood, North Dakota. The Spiritwood project is expected to begin operations next year.

Hennigan also provided a brief update on Marathon’s efforts to convert its Martinez refinery to renewable diesel production. He said a 60-day comment period for the project’s environmental impact report closed in mid-December. “We remain committed to progressing the conversion to a renewable fuels facility,” Hennigan said. “Engineering is complete and we are ready to begin construction. Our plan is to have the first phase start up in the second half of 2022.”

According to Hennigan, the company has already sourced some advantaged feedstocks for the Martinez facility and is engaged in negotiations with multiple parties for the balance. He said the company is taking a multifaceted approach, including long-term arrangements, joint ventures and alliances.

 

 

 
 
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