CITGO expects all Lake Charles refinery units operational by late October

CITGO shut its Lake Charles refinery prior to Hurricane Laura making a direct hit on the Southwest Louisiana region. The category 4 storm resulted in widespread and extensive damage in the area. Though all of CITGO’s Lake Charles refinery employees are safe, the majority sustained damage to their homes.

 The Lake Charles refinery finished the preliminary assessment of the damage from Laura and has put plans in place to make the necessary repairs and restart the refinery. Overall, the refinery fared well but sustained significant damage to most of the cooling towers, minor damage to non-critical tanks and a significant amount of miscellaneous non-critical repairs. Repairing the refinery's cooling towers and getting reliable electrical power from the utility grid are critical to restarting the facility. As a result, a phased restart of operations is expected, with all units back in service by mid to late October.

 Weighing the importance of restarting fuel supplies for the local community and powering CITGO terminals with generators is a key part of the CITGO business continuity plan. CITGO successfully restarted supply of gasoline at the Lake Charles refinery rack on September 5th following clearing activities by the utility companies. While ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) was initially retained solely for emergency services and first responders, CITGO restarted its broader supply of ULSD at the Lake Charles refinery rack on September 8th. CITGO also made arrangements to provide fuel to emergency responders and hospitals as soon as the storm passed. The West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital was the only operational hospital immediately after the storm, running on fuel provided by CITGO.

 CITGO will continue to provide regular progress updates as the company works to get the Lake Charles refinery restored and help the broader Lake Charles community get back on its feet.   

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