Fire Hamstrings Petro-Canada Plant


Petro-Canadas base oil plant in Mississauga, Ontario, is operating at half capacity after a weekend fire knocked out one of two production trains, the company said yesterday. A spokesman said the incident is still under investigation and that a schedule for returning to normal operations has not been set.

The fire broke out at approximately 12:30 Saturday afternoon and was quickly brought under control, the company said. A statement issued Monday did not pinpoint the location of the fire and said the cause was not yet known. Two employees were checked for smoke inhalation but did not require further medical treatment.

Petro-Canada did say the fire occurred in the plants White Oils Unit, a train that produces white oils and Group II base stocks. The other train, referred to as the Isodewaxing Unit, makes Group II-plus and Group III oils.

Spokesman Michael Southern said the latter unit was undamaged and operating normally. It accounts for half of the plants capacity of 12,500 barrels per day.

An explosion in August of 2003 sidelined the same train for two months. The explosion occurred inside a hydrotreater as plant personnel were trying to restart the plant after a blackout forced it to shut down for a week.

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