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Wisconsin refinery explosion will cost Husky Energy’s insurers at least $80 million

30 July 2018

On July 26, Husky Energy said the damage caused by the explosion and fire to its Superior Refinery in late April this year had been costed at $27 million. The company's second-quarter results showed the company also spent $53 million in unspecified costs related to the incident. As of early June, Husky Energy had received nearly 3,000 damages claims from local businesses and residents.

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Chief Operating Officer Rob Symonds said that the company plans to use insurance money to rebuild the refinery, along with other expenses. He also said the company plans to retain the refinery's entire workforce for the reconstruction process.

The company expects it will take at least 18 to 24 months for normal operations to resume at the Superior Refinery. An investigation into the cause of the explosion is ongoing. The explosion injured at 21 people and prompted an evacuation of nearby residential areas.

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said representatives would be in Superior on August 2 to provide the public with an update on the April 26 explosion and asphalt fire as well as an animation of the incident.

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

The mayors of Superior and nearby Duluth, Minnesota, have called on the refinery's owners to stop using hydrogen fluoride to process high-octane gasoline. Hydrogen fluoride is a highly corrosive chemical that can produce toxic vapour clouds.

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