Explosion rocks newly restarted US Imperium biodiesel refinery

03 December 2009 16:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--An explosion at the newly restarted Imperium Renewables biodiesel plant in Washington will keep the refinery idled until further notice, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

Pressure in a 10,000 gal glycerine tank at the company’s Grays Harbor plant became too high on Wednesday, causing the tank to explode, Imperium spokesman John Williams said.

Local media described shock waves coming from the 105m gal/year refinery being felt two miles away.

“The company has shut down operation of the plant, which will remain idled until the extent of the damage is known,” Williams said.

Williams said the company had restarted the plant, the second-largest biodiesel refinery in the US, in the fourth quarter, but would not disclose at what production rate.

Imperium idled the plant early in 2009 as sales of US biodiesel took a nose dive.

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