BREWER, Maine — Hurricane Ike, which hit the Motive refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, on Saturday with 110-mph winds, shut down the plant and caused damage, but it’s not expected to slow an expansion that Cianbro’s Eastern Manufacturing Facility is helping to build.
“The facility is down at the moment,” Stan Mays, a Motiva Enterprises LLC spokesman, said Tuesday afternoon. “Folks there are continuing to do their assessment. At this point, all people have been reported safe. They’re doing some minor repairs and are working toward a restart.”
He said a levee-type retaining wall, located just off the coast of the facility, helped to protect the area.
“I’ve not heard any reports” that the expansion was slowed by the hurricane, Mays said, adding: “The focus has been on getting the refinery restarted.”
The Texas refinery, which produces Shell Oil brand prod-ucts, processes about 275,000 barrels of fuel a day when up and running. It will process about 600,000 barrels a day once the $7 billion expansion is complete, Mays has said.
The expansion is expected to be complete in 2010.
Cianbro was hired to make 52 refinery modules for the Port Arthur refinery expansion, which will make it the largest crude oil processing plant in North America.
The refinery modules — self-standing building skeletons filled with pipe — will be shipped to Texas by barge, a trip that will take around 24 days.
“They’re locked down and fastened” to massive barges, a Cianbro official said Tuesday night, adding, “they won’t go cruising through a hurricane: They’ll pull into a safe harbor.”
The entire route is planned out and the weather is watched to ensure the barges are not caught in a storm, he said.
The first barge, loaded with the first four modules Cianbro is building, is scheduled to leave Brewer for its trip to the Gulf of Mexico in November.