Citgo restarts atmospheric distillation unit at Lemont

Citgo Petroleum Corp. has successfully resumed operations at the atmospheric distillation tower of its 167,000-b/d Lemont, Ill., refinery following a fire that damaged the crude unit late last month (OGJ Online, Oct. 24, 2013).

A Citgo spokesman told OGJ that the company restarted the atmospheric section of the crude unit on Nov. 11.

“The vacuum section of the unit has been isolated and will undergo full repairs before being restarted—no timetable has been established for the restart of the vacuum section,” said Pete Colarelli, Citgo’s government and public affairs manager for the Lemont refinery.

The refinery’s delayed full-restart follows an interim court order filed by the state of Illinois on Nov. 8, under which Citgo cannot resume operations of the fire-impacted vacuum distillation unit until the company has demonstrated it is safe to do so (OGJ Online, Nov. 11, 2013).

While Citgo previously confirmed some downstream units have continued to operate in the wake of the fire (OGJ Online, Oct. 29, 2013), identification of those units as well as the refinery’s current crude oil processing capacity remain unavailable.

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