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Flint Hills Resources Marks 30 Years in Corpus Christi

Acquired West Refinery in 1981

Since 1981, the year that Flint Hills Resources began operating in Corpus Christi, more than $3.1 billion in projects have been completed. Many of those projects have resulted in environmental improvements, including a 97 percent reduction in refinery flare time, decreased emissions of criteria air pollutants and other environmental milestones.

“There has been significant evolution during the past 30 years in our refining and chemicals business,” said Phil Gaarder, Flint Hills Resources vice president of manufacturing in Corpus Christi. “We are proud of our ability to meet our customers’ demands while increasing our efficiency and improving our environmental performance.

“What’s more, when the West Refinery was built, its feedstock was South Texas crude. Over time, with local supplies declining and the demand for fuel increasing, the refinery began sourcing much of its crude elsewhere. Today, we’ve come nearly full circle with the majority of the crude we refine being sourced locally, especially from the Eagle Ford play.”

The West Refinery, which was built in 1953, was acquired by Koch Refining Company from Sun Oil Company on Nov. 13, 1981. The $245 million purchase also included a crude oil gathering system and significant gas contract.

Today’s Corpus Christi operations include an East Refinery acquired in 1995 and an Ingleside crude oil terminal, and employ about 1,000; another 400 to 1,000 contractors work on the sites depending on maintenance and construction projects.

“With a large work force, we have ongoing employment opportunities for people with the appropriate training, skills and work ethic that will enable the company to continue growing and providing value to our customers,” Gaarder said. Flint Hills Resources Corpus Christi complex has about 70 open positions ranging from craft and operator positions to engineers. Open positions result from attrition and training future employees, a trend that will continue for the next several years.

During its 30th year of operation in Corpus Christi the company observed a number of key accomplishments, including commissioning new diesel desulfurization and sulfur recovery units at a cost of more than $250 million. The company also purchased a small craft pier and wharf at the former Naval Station Ingleside to move an additional 200,000 barrels per day of Eagle Ford crude from its Ingleside crude terminal.

Flint Hills Resources has the capacity to process 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day in Corpus Christi and annually produces about 4 billion pounds of petrochemicals — key building blocks used to manufacture a variety of products.

Key Facts About Flint Hills Resources

  • One of the country’s largest independent refiners
  • Largest taxpayer in Nueces County, with about $ 300 million in property taxes paid since 1981
  • Key contributor of almost $6 million since 1981 to a number of community organizations focusing on improving education, environment and the quality of life
  • East and West Refineries are OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs Star sites — the federal government’s highest safety designation
  • The Flint Hills Resources Wildlife Learning Preserve recently observed it 10th anniversary and is a Wildlife Habitat Council Corporate Lands for Learning site, the only one in Nueces County
  • Flint Hills Resources donated 54 acres, worth $1.2 million, to Nueces County and the State of Texas for the Coastal Bend Texas State Veteran’s Cemetery to be dedicated Dec. 7
  • Flint Hills Resources has annual payroll of about $87 million for its 1,000 employees in the Coastal Bend
  • Flint Hills Resources refined products ( jet fuel, gasoline and diesel) are transported via the company’s proprietary pipeline, operated by affiliate Koch Pipeline Company, to terminals in San Antonio, Austin, Mustang Ridge, Bastrop, Waco and the Dallas/Ft Worth area

About Flint Hills Resources

Based in Wichita, Kan., Flint Hills Resources is an independent refining and chemicals company that has expanded its operations through capital projects and acquisitions worth more than $5.3 billion since 2002. In Corpus Christi, the company directly employs about 1,000 people and supports more than 10,000 jobs in total. More at www.fhr.com

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