Rompetrol advances maintenance work at Petromidia refinery

Rompetrol Rafinare SA, a subsidiary of Kazakhstan’s state-owned KazMunayGas, has brought forward planned maintenance at its 5 million-tonne/year Petromidia refinery in Navodari, Romania, on the Black Sea, following an August fire that previously shuttered one of the plant’s major processing units (OGJ Online, Aug. 25, 2016).

Originally slated to begin in September, the 15-day regularly scheduled maintenance period already was under way as of Aug. 30, Rompetrol said.

Alongside the emptying and steam cleaning of unspecified processing equipment, scheduled activities during the plant-wide shutdown also will include repair works, maintenance, and technological tests other unidentified units at the refinery.

Rompetrol, however, said it will continue to meet its supply commitments to clients throughout the maintenance period.

While it disclosed no new details regarding the cause of the Aug. 22 fire that killed one worker and injured three others, the company did confirm officials from fellow KMG International NV subsidiaries Rompetrol Rafinare and industrial services company Romniserv, as well as four employees of these two companies, were summoned by the Court of Appeal of Constanta prosecutor’s office on Aug. 26 to provide additional information as part of an official investigation into the fire.

Rompetrol Rafinare and Romniserv also have jointly launched an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal event, Rompetrol said.

According to a preliminary investigation into the incident, the fire occurred at pipeline PM-100-025-80-40H next to valve 100-FV-071 at the refinery’s vacuum distillation unit during repair work to eliminate a leak in the unit’s flowline.

At the time, all equipment was operating within normal parameters and the workers were executing repairs in accordance with established rules and procedures using a special device for isolating the flowline when a spill of distillate ignited, according to Rompetrol and KazMunayGas.

In its midyear report to investors released on Aug. 8, Rompetrol said it was planning ongoing investments in projects at the Petromidia refinery this year aimed at continuing a program of optimization, modernization, and improvement of safety and environmental performance implemented during a major turnaround of the manufacturing site that took place between Oct.11-Nov.20, 2015 (OGJ Online, Dec. 15, 2015).

The company has yet to reveal a timeframe for the repair and full restart of refinery installations damaged as a result of the August incident.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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