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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Worker injured in flash fire last month at Braya Renewable Fuels project site dies

One of the eight workers injured in early September at the Braya Renewable Fuels project site in Come By Chance, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, where a petroleum refinery is being converted to produce 260 million gallons per year (mgy) of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), has died, according to an Oct. 16 statement from the company obtained by Biobased Diesel Daily.

“It is with heavy hearts that we advised our employees earlier today of the death of a friend and colleague following a workplace incident at the Come By Chance refinery on Sept. 2, 2022,” the company stated. “Our colleague was a well-known laborer with Braya and an integral part of the team working to convert the refinery. We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Out of respect for the privacy of his family and friends, we are not sharing the name of our colleague publicly. We are grieving with his extended family and our employees, and we will continue to provide trauma counseling and supports to them during this difficult time. As the matter remains under investigation, we will not be commenting further on the details of this incident and tragic loss. We are committed to providing a workplace that prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of our employees and will do everything we can to learn from this tragedy and help prevent similar incidents from happening.”

The incident was a flash fire, as noted in a Sept. 3 company statement previously reported by Biobased Diesel Daily.

“Braya Renewable Fuels and its leadership team are focused today on supporting those injured in a flash fire at the refinery and their families,” the company stated Sept. 3. “The incident occurred late in the afternoon on Sept. 2, injuring eight workers at the site, and the investigation into the nature and cause of the incident is ongoing. … The incident was contained in a timely manner and is under investigation by the Occupational Health and Safety Division, who is at the refinery, and by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The health and wellness of our workers, as well as the safe operation of the refinery is the highest priority for Braya.”

The company issued a subsequent update Sept. 5, in which it stated that construction on the refinery-conversion project would be paused until Sept. 12.

“While the incident did not damage refinery equipment, the resumption of work at the refinery will be reassessed by the Occupational Health and Safety Division and Braya Renewable Fuels next week,” the company stated Sept. 5.

Last November, Cresta Fund Management acquired a controlling interest in the refinery formerly known as North Atlantic Refining Co.

Braya Renewable Fuels had previously stated it intends to begin renewable diesel and SAF production by later this year. While initial production capacity will be 260 mgy, the company plans for future capacity expansions.


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