By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa refinery has changed hands and the new owner plans to spend $150 million on upgrades. The old Sunoco Refinery now belongs to Holly Refining and Marketing.
The refinery is a new investment in Oklahoma for Holly, which is based in Dallas. The company owns two other refineries and wanted the Tulsa one because it can produce lubricants and has room to expand into a new product line.
The buyout of the former Sunoco Refinery at 1700 South Union restores the plan for a major update and investment. Holly Refining and Marketing plans to build an addition to the refinery to produce ultra low sulphur diesel.
Sunoco had the refinery on the market for years and had scaled down spending on improvements.
Holly plans to spruce up the mechanics of the entire refinery while concentrating on making the new diesel and on lubricants that have a higher profit margin than bulk fuel.
"What we'll be looking at is optimizing what we have here, look for some low hanging fruit and see what we can do to improve the overall profitability," said Tulsa Refinery Manager Jim Resinger.
Holly has 385 employees at the Tulsa refinery, who now produce a third of the capacity for the entire company. The head of an employees' committee says they welcome the changeover from a giant company.
The CEO of Holly says the Tulsa employees are safe and can expect to see more investment, and with it job security.
The updates will continue over the next two years, and while the refinery workforce will remain the same, the building project will amount to more than 700 jobs.