Calumet Briefly Unplugged


A short power outage Friday at Calumets Shreveport, La., refinery caused a flume of black smoke and a brief reduction in base oil production during the time needed bring the plants power back online, but did not impact customers.

Calumet Shreveport spokeswoman Liz Swaine confirmed that a transformer at an AEP/Southwestern Electric Power Co. station blew at around 7 p.m. Friday, interrupting power to the plant. Crews from Calumet and the power company worked to get the plant back online.

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Swaine said the power outage lasted about 30 minutes. Whether it’s out for one minute or one day, the upshot is still the same — we have to power the plant back up. That took us about 24 hours to complete, she told Lube Report. For that period, base oil production was at about 50 percent. There are no problems in making that production up, though, so none of our customers should notice any delay.

According to Swaine, fuel gas not being used by idled equipment goes to a smokestack flare, a plant safety device that eliminates excess gas by burning it off instead of venting it into the atmosphere. The lack of power resulted in the shutdown of boilers that normally inject steam into the flare, which turns the smoke white.

Calumets Shreveport plant has capacity to produce 4,800 barrels per day of API Group I and 7,000 b/d of Group II base oils, and 100 b/d of napthenics.

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