Chevron Corp. has been given the green light by city regulators to complete a $1billion modernization project at its Northern California refinery, which has been planned for almost 10 years, after guaranteeing to inject $90 million into community projects.
The board insisted Chevron has to meet a number of conditions by the city’s planning commission as it puts up a new hydrogen factory at its Richmond complex, including restrictions on sulfur processing and emissions. The world’s number three energy firm by market value committed to spending $90 million on city programs, such as internet access for its neighbors and scholarships.
Chevron negotiated with the council after the planning commission appended its own restrictions to the project, which will permit the plant to operate a slate of higher-sulfur crudes. Later, the city and the firm reached a consensus on a revised set of conditions. The company was allowed to go ahead with developing a larger project in 2008 and was halfway done when a judge overturned the city’s permission, saying its environmental evaluation was faulty.
“We’re pleased with the City Council’s decision to approve the Modernization Project so we can get to work on making this refinery newer, safer and cleaner and putting 1,000 people back to work,” Melissa Ritchie, a company spokeswoman is quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
The city permitted the firm to execute an “environmentally superior” form of the plan, which restricts Chevron to refining up to 750 long tons per day of sulfur, lower than the 900 the firm has sought. The board also banned a hike in greenhouse emissions and said the firm could not bring in oil shipments by rail, unless it applied for additional city authorization.
“I don’t know of any community anywhere in the world that would not want to have a billion dollar project brought into its community,” a supporter of the project is quoted by CBS as saying.
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To contact the reporter of this story; Yashu Gola at email@example.com