India refinery partly shut after fire, one dead: source

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 23, 2013 9:52 AM
India refinery partly shut after fire, one dead: source

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp has shut part of its 166,000 barrel per day (bpd) Vizag refinery after a fire in the cooling tower, which killed one person and injured 33 others.

A company source on Friday said the firm closed a fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) and a gasoline unit at the refinery, which sends most of its petroleum products to domestic markets.

"We have shut some of the secondary processing units as a precautionary measure because there will be a shortage of cooling water," said this source, who is not authorized to speak to the media.

"There was a fire in the cooling tower. It has been contained and has not spread to other areas," HPCL Chairman S. Roy Choudhury said, adding the extent of the damage and impact on production was not immediately known.

One person was killed and 33 injured in the fire, said police inspector Ranganadh from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Friday's blaze is the second major fire at the plant in three months. The 60,000 bpd crude unit at Vizag was halted on May 16 after a fire on a pipeline attached to the unit.

Apart from its Vizag refinery in southern India, HPCL also operates a 130,000 bpd plant in western Maharashtra state. It also has a stake in the 180,000 bpd Bathinda refinery in northern India, which is operated by Hindustan-Mittal Energy Ltd, part-owned by LN Mittal.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; editing by Jo Winterbottom)