Three workers suffered injuries, one severely, in a fire that also temporarily shut the small crude distillation unit (CDU) at Motiva Enterprises’ 603,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur refinery in Texas last Thursday, said sources familiar with the plant operations.
The 80,000 bpd VPS-2 CDU temporarily shut for investigation and repairs, said sources close to the facility in a Reuters report.
“An incident involving a contractor occurred on Aug. 3 at its Port Arthur refinery. The contractor is currently receiving medical care. An investigation into the incident is underway,” Motiva officials said.
Refinery operations remained unaffected, the company added.
Three contract workers suffered injuries when a two-inch line carrying residual crude and crude oil broke open releasing the volatile heated liquid, which quickly ignited.
One worker was severely injured and flown by helicopter to the hospital for treatment. The other two sustained minor injuries.
“The Motiva family is saddened by this event and we will never accept that injuries are a part of normal operations,” said refinery General Manager Greg Lucchesi.
On July 13, a contract worker was killed when a crane fell on him while working for Motiva in an area between the refinery and the company’s Port Arthur terminal.
In another incident, there was an explosion on July 17 in the heater of a 32,000-bpd light gas oil hydrotreater at the refinery, sources told Reuters.
VPS-2 is the smallest of three CDUs at the Port Arthur refinery, which is the largest in the United States.
Motiva became a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco on May 1 after Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell Plc ended a 20-year refining partnership.