Valero President and Chief Operating Officer Lane Riggs with Corey Conners, Valero Texas Open 2023 Champion, surrounded by children from First Tee San Antonio. Credit: Mike O’ Brien

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Spring is always a special season in San Antonio, especially as the city celebrates its unique traditions, like the Valero Texas Open and Fiesta!

Valero had a strong first quarter, with all of its businesses performing well. Refineries operated at 93% capacity utilization, even with planned maintenance at several facilities across the U.S. This illustrates the benefits of the company’s long-standing commitment to operational excellence.

On the refining side, Valero’s Coker project in Port Arthur was completed in March and successfully started up in early April, a testament to the strength of the company’s engineering and operations teams. This project is expected to increase the refinery’s throughput capacity and also improve maintenance efficiency.

Valero’s renewable diesel business set another sales volume record in the first quarter with the completion of the new Diamond Green Diesel (DGD) renewable diesel plant in Port Arthur, which was started up in November 2022. DGD’s total annual production capacity is 1.2 billion gallons of renewable diesel and 50 million gallons of renewable naphtha.

Earlier this year, Valero announced the approval of a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) project at Port Arthur. The DGD Port Arthur plant will be able to upgrade up to half of its current 470 million gallon annual renewable diesel production capacity to SAF. This project is expected to be completed in 2025, making DGD one of the largest SAF manufacturers in the world.

In Valero’s ethanol business, progress continues on BlackRock and Navigator’s carbon sequestration project. Eight of Valero’s ethanol plants will be connected to this system, which is expected to result in a lower carbon intensity ethanol product and should significantly improve the competitive positioning of the company’s ethanol business.

Valero continues to work on additional low-carbon opportunities such as renewable hydrogen, alcohol-to-jet, additional renewable naphtha and carbon sequestration projects.

What Valero accomplishes in business and in its communities only happens because of Team Valero. The team’s continued focus on successfully executing Valero’s strategy has enabled the company to meet the challenge of supplying the world’s need for reliable, affordable energy in an environmentally responsible manner.

The tenets of Valero’s strategy — operational excellence, deploying capital with a steadfast focus on returns, and honoring its commitment to shareholders — have been in place for nearly a decade and position Valero well for the future.

While courage, hard work and innovation drive Valero’s business, kindness, caring and humility motivate the company’s efforts in the community. This year a record $23 million in net proceeds was raised through the Valero Texas Open and Valero Benefit for Children, bringing the all-time tournament total to $228 million since Valero became title sponsor in 2002.

Hundreds of charities will be able to provide basic needs, educational opportunities and health care programs for thousands of people in the communities across the country where Valero operates. None of this would be possible without the unwavering support of Valero’s business partners, sponsors, donors, spectators and volunteers. Enriching lives and making a difference for children and families is what matters most.

Joe Gorder is Chairman and CEO of Valero. He previously served as president and as chief operating officer.