Bechtel is designing a $6.5-billion plant to turn natural gas into gasoline in Penwell, Texas, for Nacero Inc. The energy firm says the plant would be the nation’s first such facility. Bechtel has a front-end engineering and design contract for the 115,000-barrel-per-day refinery. The facility will have a carbon capture capacity of 1.5 metric tons per year and will be powered by 200 MW of onsite solar panels. The plant will also produce 140 tons per day of hydrogen from natural gas. Bechtel will use sustainable design practices and reduce the project’s carbon footprint in the supply chain and during construction. Made from a combination of natural gas, captured biomethane and mitigated flare gas, the gasoline will not contain sulfur and will have half the life-cycle carbon footprint of traditional gasoline, according to the company. 


Technology for Clean Gasoline

KBR will provide detailed engineering of process equipment and module fabrication for a CVR Energy “ultra clean” gasoline refinery in Wynnewood, Okla. The energy firm previously awarded a contract to KBR to provide basic design based on the engineering and technology firm's solid acid alkylation technology to revamp a unit at the refinery. It would be the first U.S. installation of the KBR K-SAAT technology. The first commercial K-SAAT plant has been operational in China since 2018.


Drop in petroleum-related revenue since 2015 reported by the ENR Top 500 Design Firms, to $9.9 billion in 2021.

-ENR Top 500 Design Firms

Burns & McDonnell

LanzaJet Biorefinery in the Works for Georgia 

LanzaJet has tapped Burns & McDonnell to design and adapt utilities and infrastructure to support an alcohol-to-jet-fuel facility in Soperton, Ga. Zeton will design and build the 10-million-gallon-per-year biorefinery. The facility will be scalable, with modules being built by Zeton and Chemical Design Inc. Construction of the plant began this year, with production set to start in 2022. The biorefinery will produce 90% aviation fuel and 10% renewable diesel. The fuel will be blended with conventional fossil jet fuel at up to 50%. LanzaJet was launched in June 2020 after the technology was developed over a decade in partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  The process can use any source of sustainable ethanol for jet fuel production, including, but not limited to, ethanol made from factory carbon emissions. Shell, British Airways and All Nippon Airways are investors in the technology.


Barrels per day increase from 2020 in global consumption of petroleum and liquid fuels, which will average 97.7 million b/d for 2021. A 3.6 million b/d hike is seen in 2022.

—Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, June 2021


Mega CO2 Capture Project

ExxonMobil is developing a $100-billion carbon dioxide storage megaproject along the Houston Ship Channel. The project would capture emissions from petrochemical, manufacturing and power plants and pipe them below the Gulf of Mexico. The plant's initial focus is carbon capture, says ExxonMobil, but it could also produce hydrogen to reduce the company's overall greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.