Distillation plant at Chile refinery still shut after fire

miércoles 26 de noviembre de 2014 15:09 GYT
 

SANTIAGO Nov 26 (Reuters) - A distillation plant at Chile's Aconcagua oil refinery was still shut on Wednesday, along with another four units, following a fire on Tuesday, state-run ENAP said.

A blaze on Tuesday morning sent smoke high in the air above the refinery in central Chile, which produces the majority of fuel consumed in the capital Santiago.

The fire, which was brought under control within 25 minutes, was caused by a leak of reduced crude, said ENAP in a statement on Wednesday.

It said the distillation plant where the fire happened, Topping II, remained shut, while another four units had been stopped preventatively due to damage in their communication signals.

"The refinery will restart operations of these units when it is certain that it is safe to do so," said Aconcagua manager Patricio Farfan.

Aconcagua, which has a refining capacity of around 104,000 barrels per day, of which Topping II processes about 40,000 barrels, was not running at full capacity at the time of the fire due to programmed maintenance.

ENAP said on Tuesday that the refinery should be back at full capacity by the first half of December. (Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; editing by Gunna Dickson)