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Herne Contracting teams up with Phillips 66 to spearhead Rodeo renewable fuel project

Read Time: 2 mins

In the heart of California’s refining landscape, Phillips 66 is pioneering change with its ambitious Rodeo Renewed project. This venture isn’t merely about refurbishing an old refinery; it’s a bold stride towards a greener, more sustainable future for the refining industry. Cherne Contracting, a Kiewit subsidiary well-versed in the refining sector, has been entrusted with constructing an entirely new renewable diesel pre-treatment facility — the largest in the Western Hemisphere — amidst limited and constantly diminishing space.

Situated in Rodeo, California, the San Francisco Refinery, owned and operated by Phillips 66, has long been a fixture in the region. However, the Rodeo Renewed project marks a significant departure from routine upgrades — it’s a comprehensive conversion aimed at aligning with modern environmental standards and embracing the future of energy.

Phillips 66 envisions the Rodeo Renewed project enhancing the refinery’s capabilities by incorporating cutting-edge technologies to produce cleaner fuels. The company is concurrently converting existing diesel infrastructure and erecting new facilities at Rodeo Renewed, all with the goal of reducing the carbon footprint and fostering a more sustainable energy landscape.

Despite its promise, the Rodeo Renewed project encounters its share of challenges. Integrating new technologies, navigating regulatory hurdles, and managing the scale of the conversion are just a few considerations. Esai Dominguez, Cherne’s project manager for Rodeo Renewed, highlights the project’s greatest limitation: the shrinking footprint. Construction at the refinery is a delicate balance between available space and necessary work. For instance, each steel column added to the construction reduces the space available for craft workers, presenting a logistical challenge.

At the core of the Rodeo Renewed project lies the adoption of advanced technologies and a commitment to sustainability. Unlike traditional diesel, renewable diesel is sourced from organic materials, marking a departure from conventional refining practices and emphasizing a circular economy approach. This shift towards bio-based feedstocks offers a lower carbon footprint and seamless integration with existing diesel infrastructure, paving the way for a more sustainable fuel source.

The Rodeo Renewed project epitomizes a transformative approach to refining, where technology, collaboration, and environmental responsibility converge. Phillips 66 and Cherne aren’t merely renovating a refinery — they’re reshaping the future of refining. As the project unfolds, it beckons the industry to reimagine the possibilities, offering a glimpse into a future where sustainability and innovation drive change.

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