Phillips 66 shuts Alliance refinery ahead of hurricane: sources

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Phillips 66 shut its 247,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Alliance, Louisiana, on Saturday ahead of the approach of Hurricane Nate, sources familiar with plant operations said.

Only the boilers and the wastewater treatment system are still in operation at the refinery, the sources said.

The Alliance plant, which is 25 miles (40 km) south of New Orleans on the banks of the Mississippi River, is close to the path Nate is forecast to take over southeastern Louisiana late on Saturday or early Sunday.

Phillips 66 said on Friday night that it was shutting the refinery.

The plant was not affected by August’s Hurricane Harvey, which shut all Texas Gulf Coast refineries, accounting for about a quarter of U.S. capacity.

Storm surge from Harvey did breach a levee to the south of Alliance, which has been flooded by hurricanes and tropical storms in past years.

Two nearby refineries, Valero Energy Corp’s 125,000 bpd Meraux plant and PBF Energy’s 190,000 bpd Chalmette refinery, were planning to keep running during Nate’s passage, according to sources familiar with those operations.

PBF and Valero have not discussed operations at the two refineries, which are on the east side of New Orleans.

Those plants and Alliance account for about 3 percent of U.S. refining capacity.

Farther east in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Chevron Corp’s 340,000 bpd refinery has made preliminary preparations for a possible storm, including securing loose equipment and positioning standby generators, the company said.

That plant accounts for about 2 percent of U.S. capacity.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Alexander Smith and Lisa Von Ahn