Marathon Petroleum

Hydrogen Production Facility Electric Installation

Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s (MPC) $2.2 billion, four-year Detroit Heavy Oil Upgrade Project (DHOUP) became the largest construction project in Michigan’s history when construction teams completed it in 2012. General contractor Fluor Constructors selected Motor City Electric Co. to perform the electrical installation work for the enormous EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) project at MPC’s Detroit Refinery.

The upgrade enables the refinery to produce 400,000 gallons of additional motor fuels per day. By adding 13 new and revamped units, along with associated utilities and offsite facilities, the upgrade increased the refinery’s heavy-oil processing capacity to 120,000 barrels a day, more than five times the amount it could process before the project.

Located near I-75 in southwest Detroit, the 87-year-old refinery covers 250 acres. The upgrade project added new equipment to the refinery, enabling it to process heavy and viscous crude oils. The equipment includes:

  • A delayed coker unit to enable the refinery to produce liquid petroleum fuel blend components and higher quality gasoline, diesel, and petroleum coke
  • A sulfur recovery complex to recover the sulfur removed from fuels
  • A hydrogen plant to remove sulfur from motor oils (see our profile of the hydrogen plant!)
  • A selective catalytic reduction system and an ultra-low nitrous oxide burner to control nitrogen oxides
  • A distillate hydrotreater to extract sulfur from diesel and kerosene
  • 180 heat exchangers and 16 compressors

Additionally, most existing processing equipment underwent significant upgrades, as did the existing utilities and offsites. Although the new equipment and upgrades increased capacity, they also reduced emissions below EPA mandated regulations.



Despite logging more than 8 million hours, the project recorded zero lost-time incidents and received a workplace safety award from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA).

Through a property purchase program, MPC purchased many residential properties in a neighborhood adjacent to the refinery and maintained the area as a green space available for public use.


Motor City Electric


Marathon Petroleum Corporation


Detroit, Michigan


Detroit Heavy Oil Upgrade Project (DHOUP)

Severstal BIM Model

Severstal Plant Modernization

Amazon Romulus

Interested in how we can save you money?