North Pole refinery status in question

Posted: Thursday, December 04, 2008

FAIRBANKS - The company owning a North Pole refinery is reviewing its options for the facility's operations as market conditions worsen.

Flint Hills Resources has already begun shutting down a chemical plant in Port Arthur, Texas.

This plant produces olefins, which are building blocks for plastics, packaging and other consumer products.

"Based on a decline in demand for the products produced at that plant, and in direct correlation to the softening economy, we made the decision to temporarily halt production there," said Katie Stavinoha, spokeswoman for Flint Hills' parent company, Koch Industries.

"We do not have an anticipated restart date at this point," she said. "The decision will be totally based on the market outlook."

In Alaska, Flint Hills' parent company had said earlier this year that it would also be making decisions about it's refinery by year's end.

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