July 22, 2019
Philadelphia Energy Solutions declared bankruptcy a month after an explosion caused a massive fire that permanently shut down the oldest and largest refinery on the East Coast.
PES Holdings LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday according to court documents submitted to in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The company is seeking $100 million in new funding to support existing operations and reorganize the refinery complex.
This is the company's second bankruptcy claim in less than two years. PES filed voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the District of Delaware on Jan. 21, 2018. PES assets are between valued $1 billion and $10 billion, according to court documents.
The fire began on June 21 at 4 a.m. when a butane tank exploded, destroying an alkylation unit that uses hydrofluoric acid to process refined petroleum products. The explosion sent fireballs into the air that were visible from miles away. It took two days for firefighters to completely extinguish the fire at the refining complex.
The Philadelphia Energy Solutions announced it was shutting down the refinery less than a week after the explosion. Refinery workers filed a lawsuit against the company after it was announced by email that the company would lay off 1,000 employees with only five days notice. The lawsuit argues that to comply with the WARN act a company of 100 or more workers must give 60 days notice when expecting "massive" job loss.
Philadelphia Energy Solutions' two adjacent refineries at Girard Point and Point Breeze refined 335,000 barrels of crude oil while operation, according to the company's website.