Suncor Says Edmonton Refinery Fire Put Out, 1 Injured

Reuters, March 31, 2022

Suncor Energy Inc said on Wednesday it had extinguished a fire at its 146,000-barrel-per-day Edmonton refinery in Canada's Alberta that broke out in the morning and caused one injury.

"We initiated our response plan and evacuated the area. The fire has been extinguished and everyone is accounted for," a company spokesperson said.

"As a result of the incident, one injury was reported and the individual was transported by ambulance to the hospital. Our first priority is to ensure the individual receives proper care," the spokesperson added.

The company, in a Facebook post on March 28, said it was shutting down process units at the Edmonton refinery for planned maintenance, which would cause increased flaring.

It was not immediately clear if Wednesday's fire was related to the maintenance work or how it would impact production.

Suncor said it was working closely with local authorities and regulatory agencies and that an investigation would be conducted to determine the cause.

It was the latest safety incident for the company after CEO Mark Little pledged to improve its record earlier this year, following the death of an employee on Jan. 6, the fourth fatality at a Suncor facility since late 2020, according to Scotiabank. 

That January incident, at its Base plant in Alberta's oil sands, occurred after a heavy haul truck rear-ended a second truck at the mine.

Little pledged the company would adopt new technology on all mobile equipment to avoid collisions and manage fatigue and that it would be in place within 18-24 months. He also promised other steps including implementing standard risk assessments across all sites of the Canadian oil producer.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Arpan Varghese; Editing by David Gregorio)

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