Suncor’s Commerce City oil refinery to close for months after extreme cold damaged equipment


The Suncor Energy oil refinery will remain shut down for the next several months after equipment at the sprawling plant in Commerce City was damaged by last week’s “extreme and record-setting weather,” according to a press release issued by the company.

“Consistent with our operational excellence and safe operating practice, on Dec. 24 it was determined that the entire facility would be shut down and put into safe mode to allow for the inspection of all units and repair of the damaged equipment,” the statement read. “The inspection and repair of the damaged equipment is ongoing.”

The Calgary, Canada-based energy company said the facility would be fully operational again by late in the first quarter of 2023, which means the closure could last as long as three months. The company declined to provide any more information about the shutdown on Thursday.

The decision to close follows the release of harmful pollutants at Suncor a week ago after extreme cold triggered a shutdown across the plant’s operations. The excess emissions included hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, opacity and visible emissions, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Metro Denver saw some of its coldest temperatures in decades on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22, when the thermometer didn’t break zero degrees as a high for hours on end.

On Christmas Eve, two Suncor employees were transported to a hospital with burns after a fire broke out at the refinery due to a vapor release.


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