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Placid Refining (2366), Port Allen

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #No LDEQ Number Available
PDF AvailablePDF
tate Police #N/A
Accident Date2011-11-29
Report Date 2012-01-26
Follow-up Date 0000-00-00
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Sulfur Dioxide45h 32m#1 IncineratorNOYESNO3,695.0 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

The Sulfur Plant was shut down during the turnaround to replace the catalyst, as it was no longer active. Residual sulfur must be removed from the reactor beds to prevent the beds from plugging or solidifying. If the reactor beds are not swept of the residual sulfur, it becomes more hazardous to remove the old catalyst. The refinery notes that, even if the catalyst was not being replaced, it is likely that the catalyst would have plugged if the sweeping procedure was not performed, and it would not be able to achieve proper flow through the Sulfur Plant during startup.

Discharge Preventable - No

The root cause was not reasonably preventable through good engineering practice, as it is part of the refinery's SOP, which was adopted from the vendor's SOP for the Sulfur Recovery Unit. The event resulted from activities associated with the refinery's standard operating procedure for shutting down the Sulfur Plant for scheduled maintenance. LDEQ Office of Environmental Services had issued a variance for this scheduled shutdown.

Notes/Remedial Actions

The refinery will contact a Sulfur Plant specialist to explore any other possible shutdown techniques for sweeping the catalyst that do not cause a TG incident.