More than 450 community members were treated to a tour of the Chevron Richmond Refinery on Saturday as part of a regular effort by the company to show residents exactly what occurs within the facility on a day-to-day basis.
Refinery General Manager Kory Judd welcomed guests on the tours of the 2,900-acre facility that produces gas fueling 20-percent of Northern California cars and 60-percent of planes at regional airports. The Refinery is also the only facility on the West Coast producing lubricating base oils and is located at the same site of the Richmond Technology Center, where Techron was invented and is now used worldwide.
Attendees of the tour were treated to lunch, a DJ, and a number of interactive information booths where they learned the chemistry of the refining process, testing methods, safety processes and also the technologies that power engines. More than 100 Refinery employees volunteered to host the community for the tours.
One booth discussed Chevron’s Shipping Company and used images to show that one of its ships is as large as a skyscraper. Maps of shipping channels and a video showing the day in the life of a ship captain also helped provide visitors a broader view of the company’s operations.
Another booth staffed by Chevron Richmond Fire Department discussed both Refinery safety as well as the mutual aid function it plays when assisting other fire departments and agencies in the city and region during emergencies.
A booth about air quality shared an online portal tracking air quality along the Refinery’s fenceline 24-hours per day in real time and what happens when local residents call the Refinery’s odor hotline.
Residents were also introduced to the various workforce development and education nonprofit partners the Refinery works with in order to train and build a workforce of the future and to provide locals with economic opportunities. Tour attendees got to toil away in the Mobile Fab Lab, where they not only checked out some fabrication laboratory equipment, but also got to make cool technologies including popsicle stick flashlights by creating a simple circuit. Chevron has provided these technologies through investments in the Richmond Fab Lab at Kennedy High, the largest such facility at a U.S. high school.
Like its previous tour, a delicious lunch was provided by Contra Costa College’s catering program.
The tour was also provided in the Spanish language.