Federated to Keep Producing Fuel at Regina Plant After Fire

Dec 24, 2013 7:11 pm ET

(Updates with company comment in second paragraph.)

Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Federated Co-Operatives Ltd. will keep producing fuel after an explosion and fire at its Regina refinery in Saskatchewan.

The impact on production will be assessed once the all- clear is sounded and workers are able to examine affected processing units, Vic Huard, a spokesman for the company, said in an e-mail. He didn’t identify any of the affected units.

The fire was 95 percent contained as of 4:49 p.m. local time, Gerard Kay, deputy chief of operations for Regina Fire and Protective Services, said in a post on Twitter. Early indications are that it was a liquefied petroleum gas explosion, he said. All workers are accounted for and no injuries were reported.

The plant makes gasoline, diesel and lubricants from a variety of heavy and light crude feedstocks, with the latest expansion tailored toward light, sweet synthetic crude produced from Alberta’s oil sands.

The co-op completed a C$2.7 billion ($2.62 billion) expansion of the refinery in October 2012 that increased its capacity to 130,000 barrels a day from 100,000. Final unit revamps for the expansion were completed this August.

The refinery has reported multiple fires in the past 27 months:

-- On Oct. 6, 2011, the plant was shut after an explosion and fire injured 10 people. The explosion occurred in a middle- distillate unifier in an older section of the refinery that is being revamped as part of a larger expansion project, Huard said at the time.

-- In May 2012, the refinery reported a fire in the pump house with no effect on operations.

-- On Feb. 11, a fire forced the shutdown of a coker in the heavy oil upgrader section of the plant.

-- On Nov. 1, there was a small fire in a desulfurization unit that treats the diesel stream.

--Editor: Richard Stubbe