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- Background

Silsbee Facility Background

The Silsbee facility, has progressed through several stages over its history to emerge as a strongly competitive specialty petrochemical processor. Over sixty years ago, South Hampton was a small company whose original purpose was to upgrade natural gasoline into finished regular and premium gasoline for the local Silsbee, Texas market. During the first 10 to 15 years the company developed several industry firsts. One example was the commercial development of the molecular sieve process to remove normal paraffins from kerosene.

From 1970 forward the company experienced growth along with the rest of the industry. South Hampton installed its first crude oil fractionating equipment and soon expanded the capacity to 20,000 barrels per day at the refinery on the 80 acres in Hardin County. In 1975 2,000 acres on the Neches River were purchased and the development of a deep water terminal began. Over 50 miles of pipeline were constructed between the Refinery and the future terminal. By 1980 this terminal had the capacity to store over 2,000,000 barrels of crude oil and products. The terminal was sold to Texas Eastern in 1984 when the company was forced by the adverse economic climate of the times to give it up.

The company at that time went through a complete reformation and found a niche in an industry dominated by the major oil companies. South Hampton’s versatility and reputation for innovative specialty processing were the strengths that were emphasized, and soon the Hardin County refinery was reconfigured to a high purity solvents operation doing business primarily with the plastics industry.