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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #129817
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #11-01364
Accident Date2011-03-11
Report Date 2011-03-17
Follow-up Date 0000-00-00
Follow-up: No

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Carbon Monoxide45hGO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)NOYESNO40,228.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide45hGO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)NOYESYES7,393.3 pounds
Particulate Matter45hGO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)NOYESNO1,391.7 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide45hGO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)NOYESNO1,152.1 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)45hGO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)NONOYES21,784.6 pounds
1,3-Butadiene45hGO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)NONOYES2,287.5 pounds
Benzene45hGO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)NONOYES782.1 pounds
Hexane45hGO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)NONONO370.3 pounds
Toluene45hGO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90)NONONO264.8 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

Faulty Positioner ina control valve caused high levels in a suction drum. This caused the PGC to shutdown. The control valve was tested and returned to service. On March 11, 2011, the Process Gas Compressor (PGC) shutdown due to a high level indication in the fourth stage suction drum. The PGC is designed to shutdown under this condition to protect the compressor. Flaring occurred at the GO-1 Elevated Flare (EPN1-90) as a result of the PGC shutdown. Additional flaring as a result of this upset also occurred at Motiva's West Operation Ground Flare and will be addressed in a separate letter.

Discharge Preventable - No

This incident was not preventable by Shell Chemical. The failure of the positioner in the control valve was unexpected.

Notes/Remedial Actions

The PGC was checked and secured by operations. Feed reductions to the unit were made to minimize flaring while repairs to the PGC were made. After investigating the system, a faulty positioner in a control valve was identified as the cause of the high level in the suction drum that led to the PGC shutdown. Maintenance personnel replaced the positioner and the control valve was tested and placed back in service. The PGC was safely returned to normal operating conditions. Once the GO-1 Process Unit was returned to normal operating conditions the flaring was stopped. An alarm point will be installed to give operations an indication that the control valve is not functioning properly and allow for maintenance inspection prior to failure.