Husky Energy says it has the required permit in hand to start rebuilding its refinery in Superior, Wisconsin, approximately a year-and-a-half after a major fire in April 2018 resulted in the facility suspending operations.
Demolition of damaged equipment is now largely complete, the company said on Monday. The rebuild is expected to take place over the next two years, with a return to full operations in 2021.
Husky says its internal investigation of the incident is largely consistent with the findings of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which concluded that the initial explosion was caused by a failed slide valve that allowed a flammable mixture to form inside the facility’s catalytic cracking unit.
Husky bought the 50,000 bbl/d refinery from Calumet Specialty Products Partners of Indiana for about $570 million in late 2017.
As the first refinery along the route of the Enbridge Mainline, Superior is integral to Husky’s upstream/downstream business corridor, which processes Canadian heavy crude into products such as gasoline, diesel and asphalt for the U.S. Midwest market, it says.
Husky says the rebuilt refinery will be “modernized,” with advances in technology and efficiency. New equipment will also increase heavy oil processing capacity by approximately 5,000 bbls/d to 25,000 bbls/d on average.