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Marathon expanding Detroit refinery

April 25, 2012 at 7:38 AM

DETROIT, April 25 (UPI) -- Marathon Petroleum Co. said it was close to buying out homeowners in a Detroit neighborhood as part of a plan to expand a refinery.

Marathon has plans to expand a refinery to increase daily production capacity from 106,000 barrels of oil per day to 120,000 bpd. It needs to take control over property nearby as part of the $2.2 billion expansion.

The oil company said some homeowners in the neighborhood in southwest Detroit have already opted to enroll in a buyout program. The company has increased its minimum appraisal value of $40,000 to $50,000, The Detroit News reports.

"At this early stage, offers have been made on approximately 30 percent of the residential properties in the first phase of the program and more than a dozen purchases have been completed," Chris Fox, a Marathon communications manager, told the newspaper.

A second phase of appraisals for homes in the area begins in November. The depressed housing market suggests many residents in the neighborhood wouldn't be able to get what Marathon is offering if they sold their homes on the open market, the newspaper adds.

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