There is a new face at the Tesoro petroleum refinery in North Kenai, and he could not be happier about it.
After 29 years with Tesoro, Rodney Cason will retire as president of Tesoro Alaska and is being replaced by Steve Hansen, who assumed responsibility for Tesoro Alaska's operations.
"It's exciting," Hansen said. "It's something I've worked hard for over the years."
Tesoro is a San Antonio-based petroleum refining and marketing company.
Hansen said he is happy to run a crew as talented as the one in Nikiski.
The Nikiski operation, Tesoro's first refinery, just celebrated its 35th anniversary. Unlike other oil companies in Alaska, Tesoro does not produce oil. It purchases it from other producers. It operates six refineries and has retail locations spread across the Western United States and North Dakota.
Hansen, a native of Wisconsin, started his oil career in 1990 in Chicago working for Amoco doing various assignments for its refining operations.
Later, he was transferred to the company's Salt Lake City refinery, where he worked for 13 years.
During that period, Amoco was bought by British Petroleum and the Salt Lake City refinery was purchased by Tesoro.
He joined Tesoro and moved to Alaska in 2003, where he worked as the business manager of the Nikiski Tesoro refinery until his recent promotion.
Hansen said there are a few changes in the works for the plant, but nothing major. There are new state regulations requiring the refinery to reduce the emissions that come from burning diesel, he said.
Some investments will be made to install the proper equipment to meet those regulations, he said.
The refinery already meets all of the environmental regulations for gasoline production, he said.
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