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Shell: Motiva’s Port Arthur Refinery Restart to Take ‘Several Days’

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Motiva Enterprises LLC’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery is in the early process of preparing units for restart, following an unexpected loss of power Sunday from its utility provider, said Kimberly Windon of Shell Oil Co., spokeswoman for the joint venture that operates the refinery.

“The refinery is safely progressing through a structured and planned restart sequence that will encompass several days,” Ms. Windon said.

The electrical malfunction resulted in a plant-wide shutdown of Motiva’s 600,000-barrel-a-day refinery and also of Valero Energy Corp.’s (VLO) 310,000-barrel-a-day refinery in the same area.

On Sunday, Total SA (TOT, FP.FR) unit Total Petro Chemicals and Refining USA said its 174,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Port Arthur experienced operational upsets at multiple units and a fire at one of the plant’s vacuum-distillation units.

The power interruption occurred around 9:30 a.m. CDT on Sunday.

“Extensive fence-line monitoring reflected that there were no harmful levels of environmental contaminants in the air,” Ms. Windon said. “Routine monitoring will continue, as Motiva takes all necessary precautions to protect people and the community around us.”

Formed in 1998, Houston-based Motiva is a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA, RDSB, RDSA.LN, RDSB.LN) and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. According to Motiva’s website, it operations include nearly 7,700 Shell-branded gasoline stations, three refineries with a combined capacity of 740,000 barrels per day, and ownership interest in 41 refined-product storage terminals with an aggregate storage capacity of approximately 19.8 million barrels.

Write to Rose Marton-Vitale at [email protected]

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