Part of Citgo refinery unit to restart next week
Staff report October 28, 2013 10:42PM
Updated: December 1, 2013 7:50AM
One section of the Citgo oil refinery’s crude oil unit is set to go back online by the end of next week, according to the company.
The Lemont refinery is still recovering from last Wednesday’s fire at the unit, which hampered its ability to process crude oil. The fire was contained to the unit, which is a primary point of operations because it feeds crude oil to other units that refine the oil into gasoline.
With the crude oil unit down, Citgo cannot bring in more oil to be made into gasoline, but the plant can continue to produce gasoline from oil that was processed before the fire.
A statement Monday night from Citgo spokesman Peter Colarelli said the fire was limited to the vacuum distillation section of the crude unit.
“That section has been isolated, and plans are being progressed to restart the atmospheric section of the crude unit at reduced rates by the end of next week,” Colarelli says in a news release.
“The atmospheric distillation unit is going through an extensive safety review and is being completely isolated from the vacuum distillation equipment, which will allow the restart. There is no information on timing for the vacuum distillation unit repairs,” according to Colarelli.
No one was hurt in the fire, which sent flames shooting high into the night sky along with massive plumes of smoke that were seen for miles. The refinery covers land in Lemont, unincorporated areas nearby and parts of Romeoville.
The primary market served by the refinery is the Chicago region, although it supplies gasoline to other states in the Midwest.
Contributing: Bob Okon