The Pittsburg Energy Infrastructure Project
WesPac Energy–Pittsburg LLC (WesPac) proposes to modernize and reactivate the existing marine terminal, oil storage and transfer facilities at the NRG Pittsburg Generation Station in Pittsburg, California. The marine terminal, storage tanks, and all of the existing equipment will be replaced, upgraded or repaired.
In addition, WesPac proposes to construct a new rail car transload facility in an existing rail yard owned by BNSF Railway Company (BNSF). WesPac will lease the land from BNSF and will build the facility between the existing BNSF and Union Pacific rail lines.
A pair of new underground pipelines will be constructed between the storage terminal and the existing KLM Pipeline (about one-half mile away). The KLM Pipeline currently transports crude oil from the San Joaquin Valley to local refineries. The connections to this pipeline will allow the WesPac Terminal to receive oil from and deliver oil into the KLM Pipeline for delivery to local refineries. An additional new underground pipeline will be constructed between the rail transload facility and the storage terminal to move oil from the rail facility to the storage terminal.
These new, upgraded and improved facilities will be used to transport and store virgin and partially refined crude oil. All products handled at the facility will be transported by rail, pipeline, ship or barge.
The project is needed to provide energy infrastructure for local refineries to receive crude oil from sources outside of California to make up for declining oil production in California. Bay Area marine oil terminals and storage facilities are near capacity and many times ships need to wait in the Bay for a place to berth, adding to local air pollution and congestion in shipping lanes. This project will relieve some of that congestion, help reduce local air pollution and help stabilize the supply base of crude oil. Crude oil brought into the rail facility will reduce the amount of crude oil brought into the area by marine vessels and further reduce ship traffic.
The Marine Terminal will allow for imports from Alaskan and foreign sources and the rail facility will allow for imports from U.S. sources connected by rail. The U.S. sources would principally be from the Bakken region in North Dakota, the Niobrara region in Colorado and the Permian Basin region in west Texas.
The storage tanks, marine terminal, rail car unloading facility, pipeline, transfer facilities, terminal control building, and equipment will meet best available technology standards and the companies will ensure environmental compliance with all federal, state and local regulations.
This project will create 250 union construction jobs and 35-40 ongoing jobs for operations and will result in significant property tax revenue for the city. WesPac is committed to working with the city to ensure the hiring of as many local Pittsburg residents as possible.
Ships will dock at the marine terminal where a hard-pipe flexible “discharge arm” will offload crude oil from the tanker into storage tanks located on the property.
Rail tank cars will arrive in “unit trains” of 100 cars onto a landing track. From there the cars will be moved into the transload area. In the transload area, each car will each be connected to a collection pipe by a flexible hose connected to the bottom of each car. The oil in the collection pipe will then be pumped to storage tanks in the storage terminal via a new underground pipeline.
The oil in the storage tanks will be held until needed by the refineries. The oil will then be shipped from the storage tanks to local refineries through a new underground pipeline which will connect to the nearby exiting KLM Pipeline. The KLM Pipeline is already connected to most of the local refineries.
This entire process will be controlled by operators and automatic control systems. Certain facilities will be remotely monitored and operated from an on-site control center. The entire facility will be monitored for safety 24 hours per day. The pipelines will also be monitored continuously by a leak detection system.
The proposed new pipelines will have a special coating to prevent corrosion and a corrosion control system along the length of the pipeline. It will be regularly inspected by an internal inspection device and will have pipeline shut off valves.
Environmental Impact Report
An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is being prepared for the project to determine the impacts the project will have on the environment in accordance with requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. The City of Pittsburg is the lead agency and is directing the preparation of the EIR. For additional information about the EIR, please visit the City of Pittsburg web site at http://www.ci.pittsburg.ca.us/index.aspx?page=700.
WesPac estimates that all permits will be received by third quarter of 2013 and construction will start shortly thereafter. The project will be constructed in two phases. The rail transload facility and supporting facilities at the storage terminal (four storage tanks) will be built first. Construction of the marine terminal and remaining storage terminal facilities will then be constructed. It is estimated that the rail facility and partial storage terminal will begin operation after about 12 months of construction (third quarter of 2014). Total construction time is estimated at 15 months. Construction of the marine terminal and remaining storage terminal facilities will then begin (fourth quarter of 2014) and be operational after about 12 months of construction (fourth quarter of 2015).