After more than a year’s halt prompted by the economic slowdown, Valero Energy Corp., the country’s largest independent oil refiner, is reviving refinery expansions in Port Arthur, Texas, and St. Charles, La., that will cost nearly $3 billion combined. The San Antonio-based company announced last month restarts of hydrocracker construction projects at the two facilities that will help it remove sulfur and produce more diesel. Valero stopped both projects in mid-2009, citing weak demand and poor refinery margins, says Bill Day, a company spokesman. The estimated $1.5-billion Texas project is expected to generate up to 1,500 new construction jobs and
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.