Valero says no injuries in Corpus Christi refinery fire

The Valero refinery next to the Houston Ship Channel
The Valero refinery next to the Houston Ship Channel is seen in Houston, Texas, U.S., May 5, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo/File Photo

HOUSTON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - No injuries were reported after a fire on Thursday morning at Valero Energy Corp's (VLO.N) Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery, a company spokesperson said.

Corpus Christi residents told a local television station and a local newspaper they heard an explosion before the fire broke out in the East Plant of the 290,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery in the coastal Texas city, located 208 miles (335 km) southwest of Houston.

"No injuries have occurred and the fire has been contained," said Valero spokesperson Lillian Riojas. "Air monitoring is being conducted and there are no issues of concern."

A Corpus Christi community alert system said fire crews responded to a "localized fire" at the refinery on Thursday morning that posed no threat to the surrounding community.

Riojas thanked the Refinery Terminal Fire Co, Port and City of Corpus Christi, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for their coordination in responding to the fire.

Both KIII-TV and the Corpus Christi-Caller-Times posted reports on their websites saying residents, one living six miles from the refinery, reported rumbling and an explosion prior to the fire.

Riojas offered no details about units at the refinery affected by the fire.

The Valero refinery is divided into two plants located along the Corpus Christi ship channel.

The East Plant, in addition to refining heavy sour crude oil and producing diesel, performs hydrotreating for distillates, enabling to meet U.S. environmental rules.

The East Plant includes a 93,000 bpd heavy, sour crude distillation unit, an 11,000-bpd diesel-producing hydrocracker, a 55,000-bpd diesel hydrotreater, a 30,000-bpd heavy gas oil hydrotreater, a 12,000-bpd kerosene hydrotreater, 19,000-bpd and 12,000-bpd reformers and an 18,000-bpd coker.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Leslie Adler

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