ANACORTES — Tesoro Corp. today announced plans to invest about $400 million in its West Coast operations to extract up to 15,000 barrels per day of xylene at its Anacortes refinery.

Startup of the new facilities is expected to be in 2017, subject to permitting and the approval process. A final investment decision is expected by year-end 2014.

In a press release, the company said it intends to gather intermediate feedstock, primarily reformate, from its West Coast refining system for xylene extraction at its Anacortes refinery. The initial investment, estimated to be around $400 million, is designed to recover up to 15,000 barrels per day of mixed xylene, which will mainly be exported to Asia. Xylene is used to make polyester fibers and films for clothing, food packaging and beverage containers.

The global xylene market is growing about 5 percent to 7 percent annually, primarily driven by demand in Asia.

“This attractive diversification of Tesoro’s product mix supports our goals of enhancing our gross margin and investing in high return capital projects,” Greg Goff, Tesoro’s president and chief executive officer, said in the news release.

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