Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) reported a fire Tuesday at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, marking another setback for Gulf Coast refineries trying to return to normal following Hurricane Harvey.
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"A fire has been reported at Valero's Port Arthur refinery," the company said in an emailed statement. "Valero's emergency response teams are on scene. Valero has contacted local authorities and are cooperating with agencies." It said its primary concern is the safety of its workers and the community, but provided no further details.
News video footage on Facebook, reportedly of the fire at the refinery, shows a huge plume of black smoke billowing from an area near what appear to be storage tanks at the plant. Valero didn't confirm that.
The 335,000 barrel-a-day Port Arthur refinery and many other refineries along the Gulf Coast shut down in late August because of wind, flooding or electricity problems related to Hurricane Harvey. Valero said in early September it had begun restarting the Port Arthur refinery, but analysts said it could be until the end of the month before operations may return to full power.