Located near Bellingham, Washington, bp’s Cherry Point in 2018, became the first and only refinery in the Pacific Northwest capable of manufacturing diesel made from biomass-based feedstocks. This fuel produced through co-processing is chemically identical to petroleum diesel and can be distributed using the same systems, but with a lower carbon footprint.
“For 50 years, Cherry Point has safely produced energy products that move people forward and we’re excited to do this in an increasingly lower carbon way,” says refinery manager Eric Zimpfer.
In October 2021, bp announced it would invest almost $270 million to modernize the Cherry Point refinery. Through three projects — the Hydrocracker Improvement Project, the Cooling Water Infrastructure Project, and Renewable Diesel Optimization, the refinery will reduce its operational carbon dioxide emissions, double its capability to produce renewable energy, and create more than 300 jobs over the next three years.
Surrounded by mountains, forest, wetland and shoreline habitats, bp devotes considerable resources to help preserve the natural environment. For example, bp owns more than 2,500 acres of rural land at Cherry Point that is managed for a variety of uses, including ecological restoration, habitat preservation and enhancements. bp also provided resources for the development of the bp Heron Center at Birch Bay State Park, supporting environmental education programming for more than 2,500 students, community members and park visitors each year.
Due to our work in the surrounding habitat, the Cherry Point refinery recently won the 2021 Marine Intertidal Project award from the Wildlife Habitat Council, which honors excellence in corporate conservation.
Cherry Point has been a cornerstone of the local community since it first opened in 1971. In addition to its environmental work, the refinery invests in the next generation of energy and technology workers by supporting local schools and education initiatives.
Through the bp STEM Ambassador program, Cherry Point employees deliver hands-on demonstrations in classrooms, facilitating workshops at Western Washington University.1