Mississippi River flooding forces Exxon to close major Memphis facility
Exxon Mobil Corp shut its 340,571 barrel-per-day refined products terminal along the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee, as floodwaters threatened to inundate the facility just south of the city’s downtown, a company spokesman said on Friday.
Heavy rains in Missouri and Illinois have swollen the Mississippi and its tributaries in the past week, shutting two pipelines feeding the Phillips 66 refinery in Wood River, Illinois, and threatening other refineries, terminals and pipelines along the river to the Gulf Coast in Louisiana.
“Safety is our first priority and due to rising flood waters, Exxon Mobil’s Memphis Terminal has closed its facility,” said company spokesman Todd Spitler in an email statement.
“Impacts to customers will be minimized as alternative supply will be provided,” Spitler said. “We will restart the facility as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Valero Energy Corp’s 180,000-bpd refinery in Memphis is expected to remain in operation as floodwaters that have swamped the St. Louis area during the past week move south past Memphis over the weekend, the company has said.
The Valero refinery sits alongside a small tributary to the Mississippi and at a higher elevation than the Exxon terminal.
Spitler said Exxon had personnel on duty at the terminal who were communicating with government emergency management officials in Memphis.
(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney)