Posted: Nov 24, 2012 10:06 AM
Updated: Nov 24, 2012 3:05 PM
An oil refinery in Somerset is planning to resume operations after being closed for nearly two years.
Continental Refining Company spokeswoman Missy Shorey told the Commonwealth Journal that production is expected to begin at the refinery before the end of the year.
Shorey says 30 employees have been hired already, and another 10 to 20 would be needed when the refinery reaches full production.
She said an opening ceremony will be held after operations begin again.
The ceremony will include reflections on the industry's history and how valuable it has been to the area, according to CRC owner Demetrios Haseotes.
The refinery represented a dependable industry and employer for several years, but recently had declined - going through a number of owners, bankruptcy and property auctions. It closed for almost two years; then, it was bought last December by Somerset-based Continental Refining Company.
Since then, CRC has worked to reopen the facility.
During upgrades, crews found a flare system wouldn't handle the capacity planned, so they decided to install an entirely new system, which has delayed the project by a few weeks. The flare system takes excess gases from the refining process, combines them with steam and burns them, which minimizes emissions.
"These are flames people see at a refinery," said Shorey.
Continental Refining has a contract with Sunoco Partners Marketing and Terminals LP and is working with area oil producers, which will assure the facility has a continuous supply of crude oil.
CRC plans to be refining between 1,500 and 4,500 barrels of oil a day.
Several products will be produced, including regular gasoline, kerosene, diesel, and residual heating oils. When operating at full capacity, the refinery will have an annual production of 23 million gallons of gasoline, 6 million gallons of kerosene, 21 million gallons of diesel fuel and 30 million gallons of heating oils.