Power restored quickly after Sarnia refineries shut

Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:25pm EST
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By Janet McGurty

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A widescale power outage in Sarnia, Ontario shut down two area refineries early on Saturday but power was restored within hours, according to a community alert system.

Suncor's 85,000 barrel-per-day refinery and Imperial Oil's 121,000 bpd plant were shut down and flaring as a safety measure, AlertMail community alert system said.

The widespread power outage began at Suncor at about 5:15 a.m. EST, according to a company spokeswoman, who said they began to safely take operating units out of service.

"We are in the process of assessing our restart schedule and expect to be commencing a staged restart up process as soon as possible," said Sneh Seetal, Suncor's spokeswoman.

Seetal said this was a minor upset and did not anticipate any impact on customer demands.

A representative from Imperial was not immediately available for comment on operations at its refinery.

BP's gas liquids fractionation plant in Sarnia was also affected by the outage, but a company representative said there was no damage to any of the units at the plant because of the outage.

"We are working toward a normal start-up. It might take a little longer than usual because of the cold," said Michelle Bentley, a spokeswoman for BP.   Continued...