Power outage hits Alon USA’s Big Spring refinery

Alon USA Partners LP is working to restart units at its 73,000 b/sd refinery at Big Spring, Tex., near Midland after a power outage forced an unscheduled shutdown of the plant in late May.

The May 30 outage, which resulted from inclement weather, affected multiple units at the facility that the company has been working to safely return to service, Alon said.

As a result of the unplanned shutdown, Alon said it expects total throughput at the refinery to average about 70,000 b/sd for this year’s second quarter compared with the company’s previous guidance for the same period of 74,000 b/sd issued earlier in May.

A timeline for the full restart of impacted units, however, could not be confirmed, as the company does not comment on day-to-day operations of the facility, a spokesman for Alon and stakeholder Alon USA Energy Inc. told OGJ via e-mail.

During this year’s first quarter, Alon reduced crude throughputs at Big Spring to execute scheduled maintenance work that included a reformer regeneration and catalyst replacement for the refinery’s diesel hydrotreating unit, according to the company’s latest quarterly earnings report.

In 2014, Alon completed both the planned major turnaround and the vacuum tower project at the Big Spring refinery, which, together, enabled the plant to increase distillate recovery, improve its energy efficiency, and process a more flexible slate of crudes (OGJ Online, July 8, 2014).

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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