Pemex Says Minatitlan Refinery Repair To Take 90 Days

(Argus, 14.Apr.2021) — Full repairs after a major fire at Pemex’s 285,000 b/d refinery in Minatitlan, Veracruz, will likely take 90 days, although some production could restart as soon as 30 April, the state-owned company said.

“For security reasons the refinery is not operating but it is hoped that work can restart in coming days,” Pemex said yesterday.

The fire on 7 April shut the refinery for what energy ministry Rocio Nahle said then would be an undetermined time. The fire started in a pump house, Pemex said, as Mexico’s environmental and workplace safety agency (ASEA) had initially indicated. Pemex previoulsy said the fire may have started in a fuel storage tank.

ASEA began a physical inspection of the refinery yesterday, primarily to determine if the fire was the result of violations to safety protocols. Pemex is carrying out a root-cause analysis.

The Minatitlan site, formally the General Lazaro Cardenas del Rio refinery, processed 80,000 b/d of crude and produced 40,000 b/d of gasoline and 27,000 b/d of diesel in February.

The refinery is one of three in Pemex’s six-refinery system with coking capacity, which can turn fuel oil into higher-value distillates.

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By Carla Bass