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[Docket 29-96]

Foreign-Trade Zone 199--Texas City, TX, Application for Subzone
Status, Basis Petroleum, Inc. (Oil Refinery Complex), Texas City, TX

An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the Texas City Foreign Trade Zone Corporation, grantee of FTZ 199, requesting special-purpose subzone status for the oil refinery complex of Basis Petroleum, Inc. (Basis) (formerly Phibro Energy USA, Inc.), located in Texas City, Texas. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign- Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally filed on April 11, 1996.

The refinery complex (130,000 BPD, 310 acres) is located at 1301 Loop 197 South, Texas City (Galveston County), Texas, some 40 miles southeast of Houston. The refinery (400 employees) is used to produce fuels and petrochemical feedstocks. Fuels produced include gasoline, jet fuel, distillates, naphthas, and residual fuels. Petrochemical feedstocks and refinery by-products include methane, ethane, propane, butane, propylene and sulfur. About 85 percent of the crude oil (95 percent of inputs), and some feedstocks and motor fuel blendstocks used in producing fuel products are sourced abroad.

Zone procedures would exempt the operations involved from Customs duty payments on the foreign products used in its exports. On domestic sales, the company would be able to choose the finished product duty rate (nonprivileged foreign status--NPF) on certain petrochemical feedstocks and refinery by-products (duty-free). The duty on crude oil ranges from 5.25 cents/barrel to 10.5 cents/barrel. The application indicates that the savings from zone procedures would help improve the refinery's international competitiveness.

In accordance with the Board's regulations, a member of the FTZ Staff has been designated examiner to investigate the application and report to the Board.

Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions (original and 3 copies) shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is June 24, 1996. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15- day period (to July 8, 1996).

A copy of the application and accompanying exhibits will be available for public inspection at each of the following locations:

U.S. Department of Commerce District Office, #1 Allen Center, Suite 1160, 500 Dallas, Houston, Texas 77002. Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 3716, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230.

Dated: April 12, 1996. John J. Da Ponte, Jr., Executive Secretary. [FR Doc. 96-9986 Filed 4-22-96; 8:45 am]