The oil refinery located in Tyler Texas is owned by Delek Refining Ltd. They purchased the plant on April 29, 2005. It currently has the capacity to produce up to 55,000 of crude oil on a daily basis. Tyler's facility was founded in the 1930's.
Employees of the Tyler refinery who worked at the site prior to its purchase by the Delek company faced a serious health hazard over the years. This came in the form of products that were used in various points of operation throughout the facility that were made out of asbestos.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring material that is composed of tiny fibers which cling together tightly. It was regularly used as a key ingredient in products that were utilized in industrial settings and other businesses, largely because of its ability to withstand very high temperatures. Refinery equipment that processes oil creates a great deal of heat, and therefore requires products such as gaskets that can handle the process. Items made from asbestos had just that ability, but over time they would break apart and start to crumble. When this happened, the fibers would be released into the atmosphere, where they could easily be inhaled by unsuspecting individuals.
Once asbestos has been inhaled, it will remain in the respiratory system for up to several years. After this happens, it is likely to do a large amount of internal damage, and can even lead to a type of cancer known as mesothelioma. This disease is often fatal, and it can go unnoticed for many years. For this reason, it is essential for all former employees of the Tyler plant to contact their doctor to explain that they may have been exposed to asbestos materials during their time at the refinery.
Delek Refining Ltd. works to both expand their production capability and meet and exceed the safety levels that have been established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2006 the company finished a major upgrade to its Distillate Desulfurization Unit, which is used in the distillation of diesel fuels. One specific purpose for the upgrade was to reduce the levels of sulfur found within the diesel fuel. The President and CEO of the company has stated that this is only the first step in an ongoing program to produce cleaner burning fuels and to decrease the amount of pollution that the Tyler refinery produces on an annual basis.
Last modified: December 09, 2009.