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ExxonMobil Chemical Plant (286), Baton Rouge

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #107421
PDF AvailablePDF
State Police #08-04412
Accident Date2008-07-21
Report Date 2012-03-22
Follow-up Date 0000-00-00
Follow-up: 

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Ethylene2h 17mFlare #25NONOYES662.0 pounds
Propylene2h 17mFlare #25NONOYES451.0 pounds
Butadiene2h 17mFlare #25NONOYES182.0 pounds
Benzene2h 17mFlare #25NONOYES167.0 pounds
Nitric Oxide2h 17mFlare #25NOYESNO 
Sulfur Dioxide2h 17mFlare #25NOYESNO1,390.0 pounds

Accident Classified As: No Information Given

Cause of Problem: Instrument Failure

Due to an unknown cause, the compressor in the SACC unit failed and reduced the pressure on the system by flaring. The charge gas compressor in the Olefins unit shut down when several processing cards in the gas turbine control system failed. Four of the seven furnaces shut down immediately and gas from them were evacuated to the flare. The high rate flow caused #25 flare to smoke. The H furnace was starting up a leak developed in the convection section and uncombusted VOCs were released to air. It was believed a pinhole leak developed during steaming of furnace.

Discharge Preventable - No

Card failure could not be anticipated.

Notes/Remedial Actions

The failed cards were replaced and the unit began operation. There was a complaint about black smoke that was coming from flare for about an hour, and ongoing flare. Steam was introduced into the furnaces to displace VOCs to reduce flaring emissions. The failed cards were replaced and the unit began operation. The flaring during start up were permitted emissions.