HOUSTON, Sept. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On August 26, Hurricane Laura came onshore in Cameron, Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, making a direct hit on the Lake Charles area. Prior to the storm's arrival and following our severe weather procedures, we safely secured and shut down the refinery without incident. As a good community partner, we also made arrangements to provide fuel to emergency responders and hospitals as soon as the storm passed. In fact, the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital was the only operational hospital immediately after the storm, running on fuel provided by CITGO.

Laura's fierce winds resulted in widespread and extensive damage across Southwest Louisiana. Thankfully, all of our employees are safe but, unfortunately, 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 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, we expect a phased restart of operations, with all units back in service by mid to late October.

We know that restarting fuel supplies is important 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 ULSD was initially retained solely for emergency services and first responders, CITGO restarted its broader supply of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) at the Lake Charles refinery rack on September 8th.

We are working hard to restore operations as soon as possible in a way that is safe for our people, the community and the environment. CITGO will continue to provide regular progress updates as we work to get the Lake Charles refinery restored and help the broader Lake Charles community get back on its feet.   

About CITGO 
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 42 terminals, six pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 769,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the sixth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 4,600 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets, all located east of the Rocky Mountains.  CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc.


SOURCE CITGO Corporation