The company owns and operates 16 refineries throughout the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom, with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3 million barrels (480,000 m3) per day, 11 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 1.2 billion US gallons (4,500,000 m3) per year, and a 50-megawatt wind farm. Before the 2013 spinoff of CST Brands, Valero was one of the United States' largest retail operators with approximately 6,800 retail and branded wholesale outlets in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Caribbean under the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock, Ultramar, Beacon, and Texaco brands.
Valero was created on January 1, 1980, as a spinoff of Coastal States Gas Corporation. At the time, it was the largest corporate spinoff in U.S. history. Valero took over the natural gas operations of the LoVaca Gathering Company, a defunct subsidiary of Coastal States Gas. The name Valero comes from Misión San Antonio de Valero, the original name of the Alamo. Valero acquired a small state of the art oil refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas in April 1981, two years before the gasoline refinery was finished, when it purchased a stake in Saber Energy Inc. of Houston. In October 1984 Valero purchased the remaining 50% of the refinery, and soon after began refining operations in 1984.
In 1997, Valero spun off its refinery and retail divisions into a separate company, which kept the Valero name. At the same time, the remaining divisions, which consisted primarily of natural gas operations, were acquired by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Later that year, the firm acquired Basis Petroleum, which left it with four refineries in Texas and Louisiana. In 1998, it then acquired a Paulsboro, New Jersey, refinery, the company's first outside of the Gulf Coast area.
In 2000, Valero purchased ExxonMobil's Benicia, California, refinery and interest in 350 Exxon-branded service stations in California, mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company also began retailing gasoline under the Valero brand. In June 2001, Valero acquired the Huntway Refining Company, along with two asphalt plants on the West Coast.
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