Production resumes at Indiana refinery shutdown after fire

WHITING, Ind. (AP) — Regular production has resumed at a northwest Indiana refinery that was shut down last month following an electrical fire.

The crude distillation unit at the BP refinery in Whiting along Lake Michigan has restarted, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported Monday.

Repairs — including restoration of the refinery’s five boilers, steam power and electrical utilities — were completed last week. Operations at the facility are approaching normal levels, according to spokeswoman Christina Audisho.

Utilities temporarily were lost following the Aug. 24 fire.

The refinery is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of Chicago. It produces about 435,000 barrels per day and provides about 20% to 25% of the refined gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel used by Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office said following the fire.

The outage caused wholesale gas prices to shoot up by 30 cents per gallon, according to the newspaper.

To help prevent supply disruption, the Environmental Protection Agency temporarily lifted a federal rule for summer fuel sales for four states in response to the fire.

The waiver lifted a Clear Air Act requirement that lower-volatility gasoline be sold in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin during summer months to limit ozone pollution. The waiver remains in effect until Thursday.

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