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Fire at Ivory Coast Oil Refinery Extinguished, Output Continues

Reuters, January 3, 2017
Reuters

A fire that broke out on Monday at Ivory Coast's only oil refinery was put out by the evening and production was unaffected, the refinery said in a statement. The state-run Societe Ivoirienne de Rafinage (SIR) refinery said a hydrogen leak caused a fire in one of the hydrocracking units. Workers were assessing the damage and it was not clear how long repairs would take.

"The other refining units have remained in operation and make it possible to cover the petroleum products needs of the Ivory Coast and the countries of the sub-region," SIR said.

SIR, which produces 3.4 million tonnes each year, provides Ivory Coast with nearly all of its petroleum products and also supplies neighbouring countries. Nigeria is its primary supplier of crude and its main buyer of refined exports. The refinery has amassed debts worth hundreds of billions of CFA francs (hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars) since 2008, forcing the government to organize debt relief last year. Ivory Coast's economy has expanded rapidly since a decade of political turmoil ended in 2011. The government says putting the energy sector on a firm footing is key to future growth.

 

(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; writing by Edward McAllister; editing by Jason Neely)

 

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