UpdateFire knocks out 2nd unit at Lyondell Houston refinery

18 May 2010 00:05  [Source: ICIS news]

Lyondell Houston refineryHOUSTON (ICIS news)--US chemical producer and refiner LyondellBasell will be without the two crude distillation units (CDU) at its Houston refinery in Texas for at least a day after damage caused by a fire, the company said on Monday.

A fire broke out at 14:30 hours Houston time (19:30 GMT) and was extinguished within an hour by the company's internal fire brigade, said LyondellBasell spokesman David Harpole.

The Houston Fire Department was on site but remained on standby while the company put out the blaze, Harpole said. No one was injured in the fire.

One of the refinery's two CDUs, which separates crude oil based on light and heavy properties, was damaged in the fire and not operating, Harpole said.

The other CDU had been taken out of service but would be restarted in the coming days in response to the fire's damage.

"With these two CDUs out, we are not producing gasoline," Harpole said.

The restart process on the undamaged CDU could take a day or two, he said.

The Houston refinery has a capacity of 268,000 bbl/day, according to LyondellBasell. It is among North America’s largest full-conversion refineries capable of processing significant quantities of heavy, high-sulphur crude oil into heating oil, jet fuel, olefins feedstocks, aromatics, lubricants and petroleum coke.

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