Alon USA Energy Inc. said it has reopened the Big Spring, Texas refinery truck rack following an explosion and subsequent fire at facility on Feb. 18. All of the other company racks have remained operational since the explosion.
"We are pleased with the progress we are making in returning the Big Spring refinery to service. This is the first step of many," said Jeff Morris, Alon’s president and chief executive officer. "We are currently ahead of our own internal schedule and continue to be optimistic about returning to the first stage of operation producing gasoline, diesel and asphalt within 60 days. Since the explosion at the refinery, we have supplied all our customers with 100% of their contract volumes and no contract customer has been placed on allocation."
"I want to thank all my colleagues both at Alon and in Big Spring for their tireless efforts in getting this part of the Big Spring facility started so quickly."
Morris said last week that the company was developing contingency supply plans for its customers and expects to have those in place in the next few days.
Alon primarily markets gasoline and diesel under the FINA brand name, through a network of approximately 1,200 locations, of which about 300 are company owned. The company is also the largest 7-Eleven licensee in the U.S. through its Southwest Convenience Stores subsidiary. The 70,000-barrel-per-day Big Spring refinery, one of four operated by the company, delivers products to marketers from Ft. Smith, Ark. to Phoenix via company-owned and third-party pipelines. The plant employs approximately 170 people.
Alon acquired ownership of the Big Spring plant in August 2000, when ALON Israel Oil Company Ltd. purchased the U.S. fuels marketing and refining assets of Atofina Petrochemicals Inc. (FINA). The refinery has been in service for more than 75 years.