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September 2003

DuPont Proceeds to Build Acid Regeneration Plant

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary John A. Hughes issued an order granting a Coastal Zone Act permit to The DuPont Company to construct a spent acid regeneration plant within the existing regulatory footprint of Motiva’s oil refinery at Delaware City.

DuPont plans to treat spent sulfuric acid from Motiva’s alkylation unit and hydrogen sulfide from the refinery’s repowering project to use in the production of alkylate – an octane enhancer needed for gasoline blends. DuPont also plans to import approximately one-third of the needed spent acid from sources outside the Coastal Zone to maintain a minimum operating level of 250-tons per day for maximum emission reduction efficiencies.

The new 550-ton per day sulfuric acid regeneration plant would replace two idle 300-ton per day Motiva acid plants. Issuance of this permit reflects a finding by the Secretary that Motiva’s rights and entitlements to operate a spent sulfuric acid plant within the Coastal Zone are assignable to DuPont.

DuPont’s plant is expected to result in a reduction of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission levels from Motiva’s existing permitted level of 219 tons per day to 95 tons per day. Another 55 tons per year of SO2 from Motiva’s Claus sulfur unit would be captured by the new plant and removed from the air. Also, 2,700 tons per year of scrubber wastes will be eliminated and potable water consumption will decrease by 30,000 gallons per day.

Overall, as stated in the Order, “the record reflects clearly and demonstrably more beneficial effects for the Coastal Zone from this project as compared with some minor negative impacts associated with it or as compared with the existing permitted facility.”

Under this Order, Motiva is required to relinquish its permit for its acid plant along with any related air pollution credits as a condition of the DuPont Coastal Zone Permit. Another condition requires that questions concerning estimated changes in emissions or other pollution from mechanical malfunction or human error are to be addressed through a Process Safety Management Program, subject to Department review, during the project’s design phase.

DuPont’s Coastal Zone permit will be valid only as long as Motiva or any successor in interest remains in business as a refining operation at its present site in the Coastal Zone.


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