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Congressman Cole Announces Ardmore Refinery Obtains FTZ Status

July 22, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole announced today that the Valero refinery in Ardmore will be designated as a foreign trade subzone by the Department of Commerce. The Ardmore refinery and the Wynnewood and Blue Ribbon storage terminals (3 sites totaling 753.67 acres) will be authorized as a subzone of Foreign Trade Zone No. 227 in Durant.

"This is great news for the city of Ardmore, Valero and Rural Enterprises who have been working together to make this happen. Under the Foreign Trade Zone status, international business will be easier and faster," Congressman Tom Cole said. "Foreign-Trade Zone benefits will also enable the company to be more competitive in the world marketplace while retaining its refining capabilities in the U.S."

Zone status will help the Ardmore complex lower its operating costs, thereby maintaining its ability to contribute to the region in retaining manufacturing production capabilities, maintaining and increasing jobs, and contributing to the local and national economies.

“The Valero project is a product of clustered economic efforts coming from Ardmore Development Authority, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, local communities and other economic development organizations in Oklahoma. REI continues to reinvent the rural economy of Oklahoma through major projects that stimulate innovation, productivity and regional growth,” Tom S. Smith, President/CEO, Rural Enterprises Incorporate, said.

Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ's) were created in the United States to provide special customs procedures to U.S. plants engaged in international trade-related activities. FTZs are considered to be outside of U.S. Customs Territory for the purpose of customs duty payment. Goods entering FTZs are not subject to customs tariffs until the goods leave the zone and are formally entered into U.S. Customs Territory. Merchandise that is shipped to foreign countries from FTZs is exempt from duty payments.

"We want to thank Congressman Cole for his leadership in the effort to have our refinery declared a Foreign Trade Zone," said Gary Simmons, vice president and general manager of Valero's Ardmore refinery.  "This designation is very important to our operations because it will enhance our ability to remain competitive, which will allow for continued job growth and charitable contributions that will benefit the entire Ardmore community."

The Ardmore refinery, which employs approximately 250 individuals, is a leader in the production of clean-burning fuels. Its products include conventional gasoline, diesel, low-sulfur gasoline, asphalt and refinery-grade propylene. In addition to production and processing, the refinery also has more than 2.4 million barrels of refined product storage.