Chevron details repairs at Richmond refinery

San Ramon-based Chevron will use chrome alloy to replace all the piping in the sections of its Richmond refinery that were damaged in an Aug. 6 fire that hobbled the fuel factory and curtailed its production, the energy giant said in a letter it released Wednesday.

The fire knocked out the refinery's crude unit No. 4, which processes and distills crude oil and is deemed to be the heart of the plant. Since the fire, the Chevron refinery has been operating at around 60 percent capacity and has primarily blended gasoline.

DayStar buys firm with a new solar technology

Union City-based DayStar Technologies has struck a deal to buy a company whose technology could solve a problem that has chilled the solar energy industry: how to make solar power available for electricity usage after the sun goes down.

DayStar is planning to buy Premier Global, which has rights to a patent pending for a solar conversion unit that can generate and store solar energy within a single unit.

The technology is based on photosynthesis, a process that's similar to the way plants convert light to usable energy.

DayStar believes the technology can reduce overall power usage in an electricity grid.

Amyris shares jump on smaller quarterly loss

Shares of Emeryville-based Amyris jumped 4.3 percent Wednesday, the same day that the S&P 500 Index plunged 2.3 percent.

Amyris rose primarily because the biofuels company posted a narrower third-quarter loss. The company gained 11 cents and finished at $2.70 Wednesday.

The company's third-quarter loss narrowed to $20.3 million, compared with the year-ago loss of $43.7 million. Revenue fell 47 percent and totaled $19.1 million.

The Amyris technology genetically modifies bacteria to convert plant sugars into a hydrocarbon called farnesene, which can be processed into fuels or specialty chemicals. The company's products can be used in cosmetics, flavors, lubricants, diesel and jet fuels.

-- Staff