Workers contain acid spill at Delaware refinery

Workers Wednesday used soda ash injections in an effort to neutralize a sulfuric acid spill resulting from a storage tank fire Tuesday afternoon at the 152,000-b/d Motiva Enterprises LLC refinery in Delaware City, Del.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, July 18 -- Workers Wednesday used soda ash injections in an effort to neutralize a sulfuric acid spill resulting from a storage tank fire Tuesday afternoon at the 152,000-b/d Motiva Enterprises LLC refinery in Delaware City, Del.

Once the acid is neutralized, a certified hazardous materials team will begin the search for a maintenance worker who has been missing since the accident, officials said.

The sulfuric acid, used in the gasoline refining process, spilled from a tank during a 40-min fire Tuesday afternoon. Workers constructed earthen barriers to contain the spill, which created a small cloud of toxic gas at the time of that accident.

Eight people, including two firefighters, were treated at a local hospital for varying injuries following that accident. Two people were admitted to the hospital, while the other six were released after treatment, company officials said Wednesday.

Air monitoring continued at the refinery site Wednesday, but a Motiva spokesman said there was no indication of hazardous emissions that might threaten nearby residents.

Still, local authorities closed a road near the spill site, and Motiva officials said they remain in close communication with government agencies and neighboring industrial plants.

The cause of the fire is not yet known but is under investigation, said company officials.

Motiva Enterprises, Houston, is a joint venture of Texaco Inc., the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Star Enterprises, which in turn is a joint venture between Texaco and Saudi Refining Inc.

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