No major structural damage seen at Citgo Lake Charles refinery: company

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Citgo Petroleum Corp [PDVSAC.UL] said on Monday an early assessment of its 418,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Lake Charles, Louisiana, refinery revealed “no major structural damage to operating equipment.”

Sources familiar with plant operations have said that significant damage was done by the winds of deadly Hurricane Laura, especially to cooling towers, and it would be four to six weeks before the refinery restarts.

“The refinery itself fared well and our very initial assessments have revealed no significant safety issues or hydrocarbon releases and no major structural damage to operating equipment,” Citgo said in an emailed statement.

Citgo said repairing the refinery would depend in part on when the Lake Charles power grid is repaired.

On Monday, local power provider Entergy said all seven power line corridors to Lake Charles, of which it operates five, received catastrophic damage.

“We do not currently have a timeline from the local power utility as to when the electricity supply will be re-established in the Lake Charles area,” Citgo said.

While the power supply to the refinery is being repaired, “Citgo will be repairing any critical items required to safely restart our facility,” the company said.

Citgo did not identify items needing repair.

Citgo’s Lake Charles refinery is located in Sulphur, Louisiana, which is 135 miles (217 km) east of Houston.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Richard Pullin