US refiner Marathon Petroleum is planning to balance its traditional refinery operations with new renewable projects, S&P Global Platts reported the company’s CEO Mike Hennigan as saying on 2 February.

“We have made a commitment in sustainable energy. And partly, that comes from lowering the carbon intensity of our assets and increasing our exposure to renewable fuels production,” Hennigan was quoted as saying on the company's fourth-quarter results call.

Marathon had two major renewable fuel projects underway – its 12,000 barrels/day renewable diesel plant in Dickinson, North Dakota, which was operational, and the proposed repurposing of its Martinez facility in California, S&P Global Platts said.

The company had decided to repurpose the Martinez refinery into a renewable diesel plant after closing it down in April 2020, due to low demand for refined product during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Following completion of the project’s first phase – comprising the conversion of a hydrotreater to make renewable diesel – the project was expected to start producing 17,000 barrels/day of renewable diesel by the second half of 2022, according to Ray Brooks, head of Marathon’s refining division.

“Then we would follow that up with the [conversion of the] remaining two hydrotreaters in 2023 along with the pre-treatment system,” he said.

Marathon expected the plant to produce 48,000 barrels/day of renewable diesel by the end of 2023, S&P Global Platts wrote.