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Suncor refinery shut down after equipment damaged

The company said they anticipate a return to full operations by the end of March.

COMMERCE CITY, Colo — The Suncor refinery in Commerce City is temporarily shut down after sustaining equipment damage on Saturday, the company said Thursday.

Two workers were injured as a result of a fire at the refinery around 10:50 a.m. Saturday, the company said. They were both taken to the hospital. There's no word on their current condition. 

The company said in a news release Thursday that "Suncor's Commerce City refinery experienced equipment damage in the days leading up to" Saturday.

"Consistent with our operational excellence and safe operating practice, on December 24th 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 company said. 

The company said the equipment damage was "due to the extreme and record-setting weather." It's unclear whether the fire occurred before or during the shutdown. 

Another fire was reported at the refinery Tuesday afternoon. That fire happened during the shutdown of Plant 2, which started Saturday, the company said. No injuries were reported in that fire.

The company said they anticipate "a progressive restart of the facility," with a return to full operations by the end of March.

AAA said gas prices will likely go up due to the closure, particularly on the Front Range, which relies on Suncor's gasoline production. 

Plate tickets out of DIA may also be more expensive, because Suncor provides jet fuel to airlines there. 

"It's going to be more expensive to get it here, because it's just cheaper to pipeline up unrefined product and then refine it on site," AAA spokesperson Skyler McKinley said. "Now we're going to reply on suppliers putting it onto trains, putting it into trucks, and using other means to get it here when it's been fully refined. I think motorists will notice they're going to start noticing gas prices climb in Colorado starting right about now."



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