Philadelphia Energy Solutions to close oil refinery that caught fire

Philadelphia Energy Solutions will fully close the Southwest Philly oil refinery the place there was an explosion and fire remaining week. Employee layoffs may begin going down as early as Wednesday.

Mayor Jim Kenney confirmed PES educated him Wednesday morning that the company will be shutting down the facility all through the next month. More than 1,000 workers will be impacted, Kenney said.

Late Tuesday, Reuters cited two anonymous sources and reported that the hurt to the Girard Point portion of the refinery from the explosions and ensuing three-alarm fire on June 21 will be too expensive for the already financially-fraught plant to restore. A closure plan would set off layoffs for 100 non-union workers immediately, adopted by further from the 700 union workers in mid-July, the report said.

The closure isn’t going to solely worth the city a complete bunch of jobs, however as well as, impression gasoline supplies on the busy jap corridor. Before the potential for closure was even launched, the specter of a summertime season oil shortage drove oil futures up 3.9%.

“I’m extremely disappointed for the more than one thousand workers who will be immediately impacted by this closure, as well as other businesses that are dependent on the refinery operations,” Kenney said in a press launch. “The City is committed to supporting them during this difficult time in any way possible. We will immediately convene a group of City and quasi-governmental organizations to discuss the economic and employment impacts, and what the City is able to do in response.”

The PES refinery is the oldest and largest on the East Coast and is comprised of the Girard Point and Point Breeze refineries. The June 21 fire was ignited early Friday morning when a butane tank exploded and destroyed a 30,000-bpd alkylation unit that makes use of hydrofluoric acid to course of refined merchandise. The explosion produced various fireballs that have been felt and heard from miles away and the three-alarm was not totally extinguished until Sunday.

Federal officers launched Monday an investigation into the fire had begun.

Concerns surrounding air prime quality, air air pollution, workers’ safety, and the refinery’s financial stability have come to a head this week. Executive Director of PennEnvironment David Masur said the closure “is certainly the right step.”

“We understand that there are hard decisions to make and that the loss of jobs will be difficult,” Masur said in a press launch. “But it’s time to start the transition process and move Philadelphia to a clean energy future while ensuring that the workers displaced by this closure are properly compensated and protected. The local community should also be given the opportunity to provide input on the future of the site. With the refinery closing, city officials should use this as an opportunity to halt other new fossil fuel projects in the City.”

It was the second blaze in two weeks on the difficult, and whatever the Philadelphia Health Department’s claims that the explosion posed no “immediate danger” to the effectively being of Philadelphia residents, scientists are nervous in regards to the long-term outcomes.

“I understand where we are and our need for our economy to run with fossil fuels at the current time, but making a refinery in an urban area is probably not the best place to put that,” Peter DeCarlo, a Drexel chemistry professor, suggested PhillyVoice on Friday. “There are other refinery complexes that are outside of large urban populations. Maybe we should think of where it makes the most sense to do this.”

Last 12 months, PES declared chapter to reduce its debt and emerged from it in August, no matter lingering cash transfer factors. The Inquirer reported the value of repairing damages from remaining week’s fire would inevitably put the refinery nearer to its financial demise.

As of Wednesday afternoon, it’s unclear what PES will do with the property when it closes the refinery.

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