The Repsol plant will be at 100% of its production in mid-November
The shutdown of the Repsol refinery in Tarragona, in the Pobla de Mafumet industrial complex, reaches its halfway point without notable incidents and with a very high level of satisfaction on the part of those responsible for how it is progressing.
The director of the Repsol industrial complex in Tarragona, Javier Sancho, confirmed yesterday that "we are very satisfied with how the stop is evolving". Next Tuesday, October 25, the first group of units of the plant is scheduled to start up. Regarding the rest of the main units of the refinery, the forecast is that they will be operational again by November 14.
In his assessment of the first half of the most important shutdown in the plant's history - with a budget of 100 million euros and a duration of 53 days - Sancho also took stock of some aspects of safety and the environment, highlighting that "we have had 22 visits to our medical teams by workers participating in the stop, but for minor issues. There has only been one accident with sick leave by an operator who worked on cleaning tasks with pressurized water.
The fuel units of the Tarragona industrial complex (distillation and hydrotreatment), subject to maintenance work on a regular basis, have been stopped since last September 23 to carry out the regulatory inspection work and the improvements that allow increasing reliability, safety and energy efficiency of equipment. The rest of the areas of the industrial complex, such as the plants in the chemical area, continue to function normally.
Review of 730 teams
The stop of Repsol moves some important figures. During the works, 730 pieces of equipment will be reviewed, in which regulatory inspections and maintenance work will be carried out, and 32 more pieces of equipment will be replaced. 122 lines, 35 furnaces and 530 safety valves will also be reviewed. The 100 million budget for the shutdown represents a higher cost than initially forecast due to the international situation and inflation.
The shutdown has been prepared by some fifty people over two years, joined by nearly 500 professionals from the refinery and 23 more from different Repsol industrial centers.
In addition, it has the services of more than 80 auxiliary companies, 90% of which are local or have a delegation in Tarragona. In total, the shutdown at the Repsol refinery directly employs a daily average of 2,900 people, with specific work peaks of up to 3,700.
The director of the Repsol industrial complex in Tarragona, Javier Sancho, yesterday disassociated the leak that took place on October 7 from the stoppage that is taking place at the refinery. Sancho recalled that "on October 7 we had an incident of a high emission point of benzene, but it was a one-off event and unrelated to the shutdown, without being related to it." The head of the Repsol complex in Tarragona added that "we have opened an internal investigation to clarify what happened, but we know that one of the reasons was the contamination of the refinery's rainwater system, due to heavy rains, conditioned by a pore in a gasoline line.
At the same time, the Department of Climate Action of the Generalitat has requested a report of the facts from the company to clarify the causes of the high concentrations of benzene that were detected in the town of Constantí.