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Rodeo Renewed gets green light from local county

Phillips 66 has the green light from the local county to proceed with Rodeo Renewed, the project to transform its San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, California, into one of the world’s largest renewable fuels plants.   

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a land-use permit for the project, which was first approved unanimously by the county’s Planning Commission in late March. The latest vote paves the way for Phillips 66 to make a final investment decision on Rodeo Renewed in the coming weeks.  

“We are extremely pleased with the county’s decision on Rodeo Renewed, a project that stands to improve local air quality, preserve family-wage jobs and help California meet its climate goals,” Phillips 66 San Francisco Refinery Vice President Rich Harbison said. “We thank the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for their due diligence, and we also extend our sincere gratitude to our employees and contractors, local labor unions, community leaders, businesses and neighbors for supporting our vision for Rodeo.” 

Refinery employees and contractors celebrated the occasion Wednesday morning by raising the Rodeo Renewed and 76® Renewable Diesel flags outside Rodeo’s administrative building, where Harbison again thanked them for their support for the project and steadfast commitment to operating excellence.   

Rodeo staff worked tirelessly over the past 20 months to engage with neighbors, community leaders and other key stakeholders, hosting more than 50 virtual and in-person events to share information on the project and its benefits. The efforts resulted in more than 2,000 letters of support for Rodeo Renewed being submitted to the county ahead of the permit votes.   

Phillips 66 first announced plans to pivot its Bay Area refinery away from processing crude oil and toward renewables on Aug. 12, 2020. The company filed for a land-use permit that same day with Contra Costa County, home to the refinery and the lead agency for the project under California Environmental Quality Act guidelines.  

The county’s Planning Commission voted 6-0 on March 30 to approve the permit for Rodeo Renewed. The vote was appealed by project opponents, triggering a special meeting and final vote by the Board of Supervisors.   

With Rodeo Renewed, Phillips 66 intends to use a variety of renewable raw materials — fats, oils and greases — to produce lower-carbon transportation fuels beginning in early 2024.  

The converted facility stands to have an initial production capacity of 800 million gallons per year (50,000 barrels per day) of renewable diesel, renewable gasoline and sustainable aviation fuel.  

Production of these fuels is projected to slash lifecycle carbon emissions by an estimated 65% — the equivalent of taking 1.4 million gasoline-powered cars off California roads each year. Rodeo Renewed will cut criteria pollutant emissions at the site by 50% and water use by 160 million gallons per year.  

The conversion will create more than 500 construction jobs and preserve more than 650 jobs, including full-time employees and contractors.  It will also help California meet both its demand for renewable and conventional transportation fuels while assisting the state in achieving its environmental goals, including carbon neutrality by 2045.  

“Rodeo Renewed is the right project for California at the right time, a perfect example of what a real, just energy transition can be about,” Harbison said. “The future is now.” 

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