API: Shorter plant turnarounds are weighed against safety concerns

09/17/2010 | Bloomberg

Oil refiners often extend the maintenance cycles of their plants from two-to-three years to five years or longer, a shift "compromising the mechanical integrity" of their equipment, said Rafael Moure-Eraso, who heads the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. Refiners argue that shorter maintenance intervals won't hamper safety, and that the industry carries built-in risks. "You are dealing with hazardous materials, and accidents unfortunately happen," said Ron Chittim, a senior policy adviser at the American Petroleum Institute.

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