BP planning for $1.5 billion green investment at Cherry Point


BP’s Cherry Point Refinery could be subject to a $1.5 billion investment that would make the Whatcom County facility a future hub for green energy. 

Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu told county council during its March 7 meeting that the BP corporate office in London has designated its Cherry Point facility as a preferred location for a sustainable aviation fuel production facility with a green hydrogen capability. Sidhu said he had met with BP Cherry Point’s vice president of refining Erik Zimpfer and government affairs manager Pamela Brady the day before who shared the possibility of two low carbon projects coming to Whatcom County.

“These two facilities would produce significant amounts of low carbon energy while creating new jobs,” Sidhu said. 

The total investment is currently estimated at $1.5 billion over several years. The exact number of construction and permanent operational jobs has yet to be determined but expected to be in the thousands, Sidhu said. 

A BP Cherry Point Refinery representative could not be reached for comment prior to press date.

Sidhu said with Cherry Point selected as one of five BP sites, planning for the facility is underway. BP will undergo Whatcom County’s permitting process and, if approved, Sidhu said could expect to have the facilities operational by 2028.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sustainable aviation fuel is made from renewable biomass and waste resources, which include corn grain, oil seeds, algae, municipal solid waste streams and manures, and has the potential to deliver the performance of petroleum-based jet fuel but with a fraction of its carbon footprint.

The Cherry Point refinery currently supplies fuel to Vancouver, Seattle and Portland international airports. The projects are part of the multinational oil and gas company’s plans to be “net zero” by 2050, which it announced in October 2021.


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