Independent Dallas refiner dan marketer Alon USA Energy Inc. melaporkan bahwa semua kecuali satu dari empat pekerja terluka dalam ledakan dan kebakaran pada subuh 18 Feb di kilang minyaknya 70,000 b/d Big Spring, Tex., telah keluar dari rumah sakit.

‘The cause of the explosion, which occurred in the area around the propylene splitter unit, has not yet been determined,’ Alon USA said. ‘However, the fire has been extinguished, allowing the investigation to begin as soon as reasonably possible.’

The extent of the damage is still being evaluated, but an initial assessment showed that the propylene recovery unit was destroyed and equipment in the alkylation and gas concentration units were damaged in the fire, the company said.

The one remaining injured employee is being treated for burns and is believed to be in stable condition, Alon USA said.

Alon USA’s Big Spring refinery lies 290 miles west of Dallas in west-central Texas. The facility employs about 170 workers and is one of four refineries owned by Alon USA, which was formed when Alon Israel Oil Co. Ltd. acquired certain US assets from Total SA.

Alon Pres. and Chief Executive Officer Jeff D. Morris said, ‘We are developing contingency supply plans for our customers and expect to have those in place in the next few days. We are also in the process of developing an operating plan for repairing the facility and bringing the refinery back into operation as soon as possible.’

Based on preliminary assessments, Alon said it plans to resume partial operations in about 2 months.