On Sunday, September 18 and Monday, September 19, 2016, the refinery and other areas in the South Bay experienced four significant power interruptions caused by Southern California Edison’s (SCE) electrical grid system. These electrical issues impacted operations at the Torrance Refinery. On Monday, the interruptions caused refinery units to shut down, which resulted in flaring.
We want to let you know that we have been focused on maintaining our commitment to run safely, reliably and in an environmentally responsible manner. We are extremely disappointed in the SCE power interruptions and understand that you may be disappointed, too.
We have been and will continue to meet regularly with SCE in regards to enhancing the reliability of power delivery to the refinery and community. This incident confirms the need to enhance the electrical grid which provides energy to the refinery.
We are working diligently to restart the refinery safely while minimizing emissions. It will take several days to prepare and restart the units. While we are in the start-up mode, flaring will occur. The flare is a safety device that refineries use to relieve pressure and ensure gases are safely combusted to minimize releases to the atmosphere.
We are actively communicating with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). We continuously monitor emissions and adhere to very strict permit limits. If short-term exceedances are required during start-up, we work with the SCAQMD to gain their concurrence. We are making every effort to minimize the impact on the environment.