MPC dock upgrades coming to fruition
MPC’s docking facility at Kenova, W.Va., continues to undergo improvements targeting safety, mooring, riverbank integrity, high-water operations and replacement of main floats at each of its three docks.
With a combined throughput capacity of 160,000 barrels per day, the facility is manned 24/7 by about 60 employees. Although located on a riverbank in West Virginia, the upgrade is commonly referred to as the Catlettsburg Dock Improvement Project, given the proximity of MPC’s Catlettsburg, Ky., refinery to the facility. “The docks are located on the border of West Virginia and Kentucky, very near our Catlettsburg refinery, and represent a vital asset to the plant,” notes Terminal Manager Steven Hester. “About 65 percent of the refinery’s finished transportation fuels are loaded here.”
The three-phase, multiyear upgrade encompasses the terminal’s Kenova and Light Oil Dock, completed in 2014; the Crude Oil Dock, on which upgrades are underway; and the Heavy Oil Dock, scheduled for completion in 2016.
“There have been multiple improvements to the docks over the past 70 years, but the Kenova facility hasn’t undergone an upgrade since 1979,” Hester explains. “Improvements are enhancing operational efficiencies, alleviating potential safety and environmental hazards, reducing maintenance costs and improving internal rate of return.”
The success of the project has been a collaborative effort with personnel representing several MPC organizations, as well as outside consultants and contractors. “Upon completion of the Catlettsburg Dock Improvement Project, our facility will be state-of-the-art in terms of marine-loading operations,” says Hester. “It is rewarding to see it all coming to fruition.”