Leak fixed, no permanent damage at Regina Co-op refinery, company says
No injuries reported after leak discovered Wednesday afternoon
- 250 contract employees evacuated from site
- 'Coker' unit involved in leak
Repairs are complete and officials at Regina's Co-op refinery say there was no permanent damage to their facility following a leak that forced a partial evacuation of the plant Wednesday afternoon.
The plant's emergency evacuation alarm was sounded at 12:30 p.m. CST and about 250 contract employees were told to evacuate the area. Another 600 refinery staff remained on site, according to a spokesman.
There were no injuries.
Brad DeLorey, director of communications for the Co-op Refinery, said it was a precautionary evacuation.
DeLorey said after a leak was discovered in one of the processing units, workers isolated the area and sounded the alarm as a "stage-one evacuation."
Coker unit shut down for repairs
DeLorey said described the problem as being in a section of a coker unit, which is involved in the production of gasoline.
The unit was inspected and workers were allowed back inside by 3:30 p.m.
"Obviously there was a leak," he added. "We're estimating that as early as [Friday] afternoon we'll be back to full production."
Initial reports from an employee working at the plant suggested a small fire, but DeLorey said there wasn't a fire or explosion.
"On initial investigation, no permanent damage to the unit is expected," officials said in media release Thursday afternoon. "As well, there were no negative environmental impacts from the leak since there was no release of harmful substances."
The company said they were still investigating what happened to determine why the unit leaked.
This latest leak comes nearly one year after a major explosion at the Refinery on Christmas Eve last year.
The plant, which has gone through several upgrades and expansions in its 80-year history, has recorded five significant incidents between 2011 and 2013.
The most serious was a 2011 blast that injured 36 people.
From the company's description of its operation:
Located on 544 acres in Regina, the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL). The CRC manufactures and supplies petroleum products to FCL’s members through the co-operative retailing system. The refinery was established in 1934.
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