Exxon investigates Monday Rotterdam unit fire

AMSTERDAM, April 26 Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:29am EDT

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AMSTERDAM, April 26 (Reuters) - Oil major Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) said a desulphurisation unit at its Rotterdam refinery remained out of action on Tuesday following a fire, the cause of which is under investigation.

No one was injured in the fire, which broke out at the refinery on Monday morning, and Exxon said the impact on production was minimal. [ID:nLDE73O05E]

Spokeswoman Ellen Ehmen said the affected unit formed one step in the desulphurisation process and that the refinery itself was operating at almost full capacity.

After allowing the reactor in the desulphurisation unit to cool down on Monday, Exxon was still investigating the cause of the fire and the extent of the damage, she said, adding that it was not clear when the unit would be restarted.

"We are doing this very meticulously and making sure this is safe and everything is right to go as we don't want this to happen again," Ehmen said.

The Exxon Mobil Esso refinery is located in the Rotterdam Botlek area, a port and industrial hub for the petrochemical sector in the Netherlands. (Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block)

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