Marathon uses wind power to lower CI of Dickinson biorefinery

By Erin Voegele | May 05, 2021

Representatives of Marathon Petroleum Corp. discussed progress with the company’s renewable diesel projects, including efforts to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of biofuel produced at the Dickinson, North Dakota, plant using wind energy, during the company’s first quarter earnings call, held May 4.

During the call, Raymond Brooks, executive vice president of refining, confirmed that the Dickinson renewable diesel plant operated at approximately 90 percent of design capacity during the first quarter of this year. The plant also qualified and got a provisional lower CI score for its renewable feedstocks, which include soybean oil and corn oil. Brooks said work has continued to both increase production and further lower the plant’s CI score. As part of that work, he said the company recently worked with its licensor for the process and catalyst on a new catalyst formulation.

Marathon on May 4 also announced plans to lower the CI score of the Dickinson plant using wind energy. The company has sighed an agreement with One Energy Enterprises LLC to install five 2.3-megawatt (MW) wind turbines at the Dickinson biorefinery. The turbines are expected to generate more than 40 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually, providing approximately 45 percent of the plant’s electricity needs.

At full capacity, the Dickinson facility is expected to produce 12,000 barrels per day of renewable diesel from corn and soybean oil. MPC intends to sell renewable diesel produced at the facility into the California market to comply with the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

Marathon also briefly discussed plans to convert its refinery in Martinez, California, to renewables. Michael Hennigan, president and CEO of Marathon, said commissioning of the Martinez facility is expected to begin in the second half of 2022 with approximately 17,000 barrels per day of capacity. Full capacity of 48,000 barrels per day is expected to be reached by the end of 2023.