Ergon – West Virginia Statement Regarding Fires at Facility

Wed., Jul 21, 2021 | Ergon

NEWELL, WV — Ergon – West Virginia Inc., a paraffinic refinery in Newell, West Virginia, suffered damage from two unrelated fires earlier this year. The first fire occurred on April 8 in an unoccupied maintenance shop, and the second was on May 29 in a processing unit. There were no injuries related to either fire.

The company is cooperating with local and federal agencies in response to both incidents and working with the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) to fully comply with all document requests. The CSB is an independent, non-regulatory federal agency that investigates the root causes of major chemical incidents. CSB’s mission is to share findings with other facilities to help them avoid similar events.

“Ergon will always consider safety over production,” stated Emmitte Haddox, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ergon Inc. ”We employ hundreds of residents in this area both directly and indirectly, and nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our employees and our community. We are taking this process slowly and methodically.”

“Ergon conducts regular emergency management drills with internal teams as well as local agencies and first responders,” said Doug Burdick, Vice President – Refining at Ergon – West Virginia. “It was that commitment to training and safety that prepared us well to respond to these incidents, minimize damage to the facility and keep our employees and surrounding community safe.”

Both the maintenance shop and the process unit area are still shut down and will be reconstructed once investigations are complete. Prior to restarting other areas of the facility in mid-June, Ergon completed a thorough investigation of the entire plant and a review of all safeguards. The refinery has been supplying paraffinic base oils and waxes to customers around the world since restarting. Gasoline production is still impacted by the unit to be reconstructed.

“We would like to say again how much Ergon appreciates the efforts of the local fire departments and other first responders,” Haddox added. “We are incredibly thankful as well for the response of our own employees and their commitment to the ongoing operation of this facility which is so important to the economy of Newell and the surrounding area. Our staff and our neighbors can rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to operate in the safest manner possible.”

About Ergon:

Ergon is a group of privately held companies that operate under six primary business segments: Refining & Marketing, Specialty Chemicals, Asphalt & Emulsions, Oil & Gas, Midstream & Logistics and Construction & Real Estate.

Contact Information:

Kathy Potts
Director of Marketing Communications
ergon.com | ergonnsa.com