California refinery exposed to power blackouts : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Valero says Calif plant exposed to power blackouts Tuesday May 8, 3:40 PM EDT

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - Refiner Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) says it is worried that electricity blackouts in California could force it to halt operations at its Benicia refinery, which is no longer protected from power stoppages, a company official said on Tuesday.

"The Benicia plant has been rolled into a rolling blackout pool by the Public Utilities Commission which puts us in an uncomfortable position," said Valero official Rich Marcogliese.

Californians on Tuesday braced for a second consecutive day of power emergencies amid warnings of soaring temperatures and tight electricity supplies, California's Independent System Operator said.

The 165,000 barrel per day Benicia plant near San Francisco, which provides more than 10 percent of California's refined product needs, was put in the pool of facilities vulnerable to power blackouts in early April, Marcogliese said.

The plant, which has no back-up power generating capacity, was not affected by Monday's power emergency and had received no notice that it would be cut off on Tuesday, he added.

California fuel supplies are already running thin after an explosion at Tosco Corp.'s (TOS) Carson plant near Los Angeles last month.

"What is particularly worrying is that if there is a power loss to the refinery and we have to shut down units then it will take us several days to restart them," Marcogliese said.

"If there is any damage to equipment then that could take several weeks to restart."

Valero has written to the Public Utilities Commission voicing its concern over the possible stoppages, saying that a loss of fuel is a public safety issue, he added.§ion=news&news_id=reu-n0825777&date=20010508&alias=/alias/money/cm/nw

-- Martin Thompson (, May 08, 2001


How could a refinery as important as Valero (10% of our state's energy producton) possibly be put in a pool of possible blackout candidates?

Hard to figure. Looks like the politicians are hard at work gumming up the works again.

-- JackW (, May 08, 2001.

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