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Refinery news holiday catch up: The Americas

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Three months of planned maintenance was concluded at the Suncor Energy refinery in Montreal, Quebec at the end of December 2014. The work began in late September last year and involved ongoing work to modify the facility’s hydrocracking unit.

Plans for a new refinery in Chetwynd, British Colombia have been spoken of by Juergen Puetter, President of Aeolis Wind Power Corp. and CEO of Blue Fuel Energy Corp. The new facility will have a two phase plan and when complete produce gasoline as well as methanol a few years later. This refinery is going to be in competition with two new green oil refineries that are also proposed for the area.


Towards the end of December 2014 large flames and white clouds of steam were reported visible from the Chevron owned refinery in the Richmond, California area. The releases were caused by a refinery process unit being depressurised and were found not to be harmful to the surrounding community. The incident was attended by two crews from the Richmond Fire Department.

It has been announced that Quantum Energy and Bilfinger/Westcon are working on plans for refineries in Stanley and Berthold in North Dakota as well as Baker and Fiarview in Montana. A proposal to build a diesel refinery has already been brought before the Stanley City Council where it is thought that the US$350 million project will have long term sustainability in the industry and create many long term jobs.

Cold weather was to blame for stranding a 187 t piece of oil refinery equipment in Duluth, Minnesota. The equipment spent a day, just before new year blocking traffic on Duluth Street and moved just a few streets before movement being halted again. The equipment is being moved from Duluth Harbour to Provo, Utah.

A share of a US$10.6 million settlement will be given to a southwestern Illinois village and its school and parks districts following a settlement between taxing bodies and WRB Refining. The settlement has been made over a property tax dispute involving the refinery. Roxana school district is reported to be receiving US$8.5 million.

Investigations are underway in to why a fire broke out at the Toledo Refining Company on New Year’s Day. The fire started in the morning but was reportedly under control by midday. Black smoke was reported as billowing from the facility but there was no word of any injuries.

It has been reported that a man died at the Paulsboro refinery in Gibbstown, New Jersey, following an accident on Friday 2 January. An air compressor line reportedly broke at the facility and hit Gary Grimming who was instantly killed.

Virgin Islands

Owners of the Hovensa refinery have filed separate federal court lawsuits looking for over US$236 million from the government of the Virgin Islands. The plant owners, Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corp., claims that this money is owned to them in tax refunds. PDVSA has also filed a federal court suit against the Virgin Islands government for the return of taxes owned, and are reportedly seeking US$152 607 227.

Sources: Firehouse, PennEnergy, Bismarck Tribune, Grand Forks Herald, Fox 2 News, Pipeline News North, Virgin Islands Daily News.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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