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Lightning strike shuts down refinery


Fueling up will be difficult this weekend.
Fueling up will be difficult this weekend.

Jill Colton, staff writer

July 30, 2011 — A lightning strike knocked out power to a Nova Scotia refinery, putting a strain on the gas supply.

An intense lightning strike knocked out power to the refinery.
An intense lightning strike knocked out power to the refinery.

If you're in Nova Scotia, filling up this weekend may prove to be a difficult task.

Imperial Oil says they'll bring in extra gasoline in lieu of an electrical strike that shutdown a massive Halifax-area refinery.

Gas supplies in the region are now limited, resulting in several station closures.

Local media reported Saturday that gas bars primarily between Halifax and Truro have been impacted by the shortage.

Imperial Oil spokesman Merle MacIsaac says the company is finding other sources to supply stations in order to minimize disruptions.

The petrol shortfall is problematic for one of the busiest travelling weekends of the year. “Everybodyís on allocation, which means thereís limited supply,” said David Collins, vice-president of Wilson Fuel Co.

Lightning knocked out the power at the Dartmouth refinery on July 21, temporarily putting the operation into a holding pattern. “Nobody was hurt and the refinery didnít give off any more pollutants than allowed by environmental regulations,” said Pius Rolheiser, another Imperial Oil spokesman.

Maintenance on the building is currently underway in hopes of fixing the problem. MacIsaac says the refinery should be operational by mid-August.

With files from The Canadian Press and the Chronicle Herald.

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