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Superior refinery explosion caused $27 million in damage

Storage tanks damaged by fire frame several refining towers at the Husky Energy refinery in Superior, Wis. The refinery experienced a large fire earlier this year that damaged much of the infrastructure at the facility. --- Clint Austin / Forum News Service

SUPERIOR, Wis. -- The explosion and fire at Husky Energy's Superior refinery in April resulted in $27 million in damage and $53 million in expenses, according to the company's second quarter results released Thursday.

Insurance is expected to cover the costs of damage, interruption to business and any third-party liability, the company said.

The April 26 explosion injured 21 people at the plant led to the evacuation of nearly the entire city of Superior. The investigation is ongoing, and company officials said it would take another 18-24 months "to resume normal operations" after the investigation is completed.

"We plan to use the insurance proceeds to rebuild the refinery," Husky COO Rob Symonds said in a Thursday conference call with investors.

Also on Thursday, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and Hazard Investigation Board said they would be in Superior Aug. 2 to provide the public with a factual update, or short document with information on the April 26 explosion and asphalt fire as well as an animation of the incident, board spokesperson Hillary Cohen said in an email.

The explosion took place in the fluid catalytic cracking unit, where crude oil is distilled to create gas and other products.

Jimmy Lovrien

Jimmy Lovrien is a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. He spent the summer of 2015 as an intern for the Duluth News Tribune and was hired full time in October 2017 as a reporter for the Weekly Observer. He also reported for the Lake County News-Chronicle in 2017-18. Lovrien grew up in Alexandria, Minn., but moved to Duluth in 2013 to attend The College of St. Scholastica. Lovrien graduated from St. Scholastica in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in English and history. He also spent a summer studying journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

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