MOSCOW (MRC) -- San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp, the second-largest US oil refiner, will require newly hired workers in Texas and Louisiana to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, reported Reuters with reference to six people familiar with the matter.
Valero becomes the first US refiner to require vaccinations as a condition for new workers, the people said. Current employees at the firm’s Gulf Coast refineries are not required to be vaccinated, the sources added.
A Valero spokeswoman did not reply to a request for comment.
As COVID-19 has spread in the US South this summer, Valero and other US refiners have required workers wear face masks where social distancing is not possible. Several also limited the number of staffers able to gather together at work.
New employees hired to Valero’s Port Arthur, Texas, and Meraux, Louisiana, refineries were told this week they would have to get vaccinated, the people said. Some of the new hires were scheduled to begin work within two weeks, the sources said, and will be placed on an at least six-month probationary period, a time they are considered at-will employees and can be dismissed without cause.
Other refiners that have resumed strict rules this month to prevent the spread of the virus include the nation’s largest refiner, Marathon Petroleum Corp, and Motiva Enterprises.
Chevron Corp this week postponed the full return of employees to company offices in California and Texas, joining companies like Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc, due to a resurgence in coronavirus cases related to the fast-spreading Delta variant.
As MRC wrote previously, Valero Energy Corp. operated its 14 refineries up to 89% of their combined total throughput capacity of 3.15 million barrels per day (bpd) during the second quarter of 2021.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,176,860 tonnes in the first half of 2021, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.