24 May 2006 22:31 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Valero on Wednesday said its St Charles, Louisiana refinery is still producing ethylene and propylene despite its fluid catalytic cracking unit running at slightly reduced rates after a fire damaged the plant on 20 May.
Traders on Wednesday reported little effect in the petrochemical and refined products markets as a result of the fire.
The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) said its investigation concluded that a 12-inch overhead pipe ruptured in the refinery’s distillate hydrotreater, which resulted in the release of flammable gaseous hydrocarbons at a temperature high enough to cause spontaneous ignition.
Valero said the refinery has stopped producing low sulphur diesel, and finished gasoline production was reduced by about 25,000 bbl/day. The company said it expects 10,000 bbl/day of low sulphur diesel production to be recovered, and gasoline production to return to normal by the end of the week.
No injuries were reported as a result of the incident and the CSB said that no further investigation of the incident is planned.
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