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GS Caltex to Invest $980 Million in New Refining Unit

GS Caltex Corp., South Korea’s second-largest refiner, plans to invest 1.1 trillion won ($980 million) to build a fourth heavy oil upgrading plant and increase production of higher-priced, cleaner-burning fuels.

The company will complete construction of the 53,000 barrel-a-day vacuum gas oil fluid catalytic cracking unit by 2013, Seoul-based GS Caltex said in an e-mailed statement today.

GS Caltex and domestic rivals including Hyundai Oilbank Co. want to expand their ability to turn heavy oil into premium, cleaner products to meet local demand and safety emissions standards in export markets such as the U.S. and Europe. GS started operating a new vacuum residue hydrocracker in December.

Fuels from the No.4 unit will be exported and may add 400 billion won to annual profit, the refiner said in the statement. Construction will start in March at Yeosu on the southern coast.

The refiner currently runs three heavy oil upgrading facilities at Yeosu with capacities of 94,000, 61,000 and 60,000 barrels a day, respectively, according to the company.

GS Caltex is equally owned by GS Holdings and Chevron Corp., the second-largest U.S. oil company.

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