Pemex Salina Cruz refinery expected to reopen after fatal fire

Pemex

Pemex says the fire began after flood waters compromised a containment dam, releasing crude which hit an ignition point at the plant’s pump house.

Firefighter killed in Salina Cruz refinery blaze

Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex said it expects to reopen its Salina Cruz refinery sometime on Thursday, one day after a fatal fire forced the shut down of the plant.

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One firefighter was killed and nine workers were injured in the blaze that broke out Wednesday at the refinery located in the southern state of Oaxaca, on the Pacific coast.

On Tuesday, Pemex suspended operations at the refinery due to flooding caused by Tropical Storm Calvin.

As a result of the flooding, rising waters broke through containment dams, causing a spill of some heavy oil.  The escaping crude hit an ignition point at the plant’s pump house.

According to Reuters, at least three large plumes of smoke fed by the oil fire were visible at the plant throughout Wednesday.

Pemex reports that the nine injured workers have been released from the hospital.

The Salina Cruz refinery has a processing capacity of 330,000 barrels of crude and its Mexico’s largest refinery.

In March, a blast at Pemex’s Salamanca refinery killed at least eight people.

 

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