By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor
Five months after purchasing the San Antonio refinery out of bankruptcy for $41 million, NuStar has made it profitable. The refinery, once owned by AGE Refining, cost NuStar millions to transform it into a safer and more reliable plant.
Still more improvement work will take place in the coming months. According to the San Antonio Express-News, NuStar will have spent between $30 million to $40 million on improvement projects by the end of next year. Improvement projects include adding a pipeline from the plant to a terminal in Elmendorf.
NuStar acquired the only refinery in San Antonio’s city limits with the purpose of processing South Texas crude oil, including oil from Eagle Ford shale, a rapidly developing area in South Texas. The refinery’s capacity is about 13,500 barrels per day, but NuStar is testing it to to see whether the capacity could be increased. One effort is a new, $3 million computer-controlled system that better monitors processing units to replace the plant’s 1950s-era control room.
The refinery now has 66 employees, and NuStar is looking to hire more. The San Antonio Express-News also reports that the company recently moved about 20 employees to Brooks City-Base, which is near the plant. Moreover, the company plans to lease an additional 2,500 square feet for its laboratory at the plant.
In other interesting news, the Austin-based World Class Capital Group L.L.C. has purchased Ciel Plaza, a 14,000-square-foot retail center, for an undisclosed price. Among its tenants are brands like Cabo Seafood + Bar, the Green Lantern and Quenedit Ballet School.