Engineering News

Marathon's Garyville refinery remains partially shut down after tornado
May 30, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Marathon Petroleum Co. said it will take around two weeks to repair a cooling tower damaged after a small tornado hit its Garyville oil refinery early Wednesday (May 28) morning. Part of the refinery will remain shut down until the repairs are completed, though the company expects a minimal impact on overall production.

In a Friday statement, Marathon said the tornado damaged a cooling water system that supports one of the refinery's crude units. Refineries and other industrial complexes use cooling towers to remove heat from various manufacturing processes.

The refinery's crude unit and other units were shut down as a result of the equipment damage.

Marathon expects the crude unit to be operational by mid-June after an initial assessment of the damage and needed repairs.

Marathon's Garyville refinery is the third largest in the nation, with the capacity to refine up to 522,000 barrels of oil per day.

The company said the down time would have little impact on the amount of crude oil the refinery will process in coming weeks.

It projects total throughput will dip less than 5 percent in the second quarter 2014.

The refinery, which sits on 3,500 acres of land next to the Mississippi River, has undergone several expansions.

Marathon most recently completed its $3.9 billion Garyville Major Expansion project in 2009. The project increased the refinery's capacity by 234,000 barrels per day.

Marathon Petroleum is the nation's fourth largest refiner, with a capacity of about 1.7 million barrels per day at its seven U.S. refineries.

Source: The Times-Picayune

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