By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Sept. 16 -- One of the largest independent petroleum refiners and marketers of unbranded transportation fuels and heating oil in the US is shutting down its 70,000 b/d Hartford, Ill., refinery in early October.
Premcor Inc., Old Greenwich, Conn., notified refinery employees Sept. 4 that it would close the refinery at the early October date it had originally announced in February. At that time it had paid $2 million in fines for alleged New Source Review violations associated with modifications made to a fluid catalytic cracker in 1994 and was facing another expected outflow of $8-10 million for installation of antipollution equipment (OGJ, Mar. 11, 2002, p. 19).
Premcor later extended the closing date to November while seeking other "opportunities to maximize the value of the refinery," it said. Since then, however, there has been a further erosion of market conditions in the refining industry, and the scheduled closure date has been moved back to early October.
The company said it would continue to pursue other options, including sale of the refinery, to mitigate the loss of jobs and refining capacity in the Midwest. Premcor Refining Group Inc. closed its 76,000 b/d plant at Blue Island, Ill., last year after paying $6.25 million in environmental violation fines (OGJ Online, Apr. 1, 2002).