ANACORTES, Wash. – Tesoro officials say they will temporarily shut down their Anacortes refinery where five workers were killed and two critically injured in a fire earlier this month.
Tesoro says since the incident, the refinery has been producing primarily unfinished intermediate products that cannot be upgraded until repairs have been made or an alternate plan is developed.
Tesoro said all employees at the facility will continue to be employed and receive full benefits.
It's not known when operations will resume.
Tesoro said supply will not be affected.
"Tesoro is committed to our employees, the community, and our customers," said Bruce Smith, Tesoro's Chairman, President and CEO. "We will fulfill our commitments to them during this difficult time."
On Monday in the Skagit Valley Herald, Tesoro's CEO Bruce Smith, COO Everett Lewis and Anacortest Refinery Manager Don Sorensen published an open letter to Tesoro co-workers, families and friends, saying in part:
The tragedy at our Anacortes refinery on Friday, April 2, has deeply touched all of us at Tesoro and affected the entire Skagit County community. Your calls, letters and flowers have given comfort in this time of need, and are a testament to the strong character and warm compassion of people throughout the area.
We ask that you join us in reflection for those in the Tesoro family we have lost:
Donna Van Dreummel
Please keep your thoughts and prayers with Matt Gumbel and Lew Janz as they begin their difficult recovery journey.
Cards and letters of support can be sent to Tesoro Anacortes Refinery, P.O. Box 700, Anacortes, WA 98221. A Tesoro Anacortes Refinery Survivors Fund has also been set up.