July 4, 2018
Two months after fire and explosions ripped through its recently purchased asphalt refinery in Superior, Wis., Husky Energy Inc. says it still doesn’t know when it will be able to restart the facility.
Spokesman Mel Duvall told Canadian Press investigations are continuing into the cause of the April 26 incident in which 11 people were injured and nearby homes evacuated while plumes of black smoke rose into the sky.
He says the Calgary-based company won’t be able to fully assess damage and map out a recovery plan until the U.S. Chemical Safety Board completes its determination of cause.
Husky bought the 50,000-barrel-per-day refinery from Calumet Specialty Products Partners of Indiana for about $570 million in a deal that closed in November.
According to a website update posted Monday, cleanup efforts have progressed to the point that the off-site incident command centre has been moved onto refinery property. It says about 400 employees and contractors are supporting daily operations.
According to Canadian Press as of last Friday, Husky says it has received some 3,300 claims from local businesses and residents who incurred expenses or suffered losses during the incident, of which about 2,700 have been resolved.
“We do have insurance, both on the assets and business interruption, and we have made alternate arrangements to continue supplying customers. No employees have been laid off,” said Duvall in an email to Canadian Press. “We may be able to provide an update (on costs) on our second-quarter conference call later this month.”
He said all of the injured people have been released from hospital.
On the website, Husky says it expects to be able to bring in trucks later this month to remove stored asphalt inventory.