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Motiva Enterprises (2719), Convent

LDEQ Accident Report

Accident #150490
State Police #13-03694
Accident Date2013-08-19
Report Date 2013-08-26
Follow-up Date 2013-10-17
Follow-up: Yes

Pollutants Released

Pollutant Duration Point Source Greenhouse Gas Criteria Pollutant Ozone forming chemical Amount of Release
Benzene2h 15mpump 4G-559NONOYES185.8 pounds
Carbon Monoxide2h 15mpump 4G-559NOYESNO7,514.7 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)2h 15mpump 4G-559NONOYES2,586.3 pounds
Isobutane2h 15mpump 4G-559NONOYES0.0 pounds
Butane2h 15mpump 4G-559NONOYES0.0 pounds
Isopentane2h 15mpump 4G-559NONOYES0.1 pounds
Pentane2h 15mpump 4G-559NONOYES0.1 pounds
Hexane2h 15mpump 4G-559NONONO0.4 pounds
NOx2h 15mpump 4G-559NONOYES110.5 pounds
Particulate Matter2h 15mpump 4G-559NOYESNO7,183.2 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide2h 15mpump 4G-559NOYESNO221.0 pounds

Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity

Cause of Problem: Seal or Gasket

On August 19, 2013, a fire was experienced on pump 4G-559 due to a seal failure. HTU-1's recycle compressor tripped on high K.O. drum level. A decision was made to slowdown, stabilize, and shutdown. Part of the activities to slowdown included putting the CRU unit on hydrogen circulation; therefore, operations shutdown the CRU charge pumps, 4G-501/559. Shortly after the pumps were stopped, 4G-559 failed, and a seal fire occurred. After thorough investigation, the cause of the seal fire was determined to be the failure of a check valve on the discharge of 4G-559. When the charge pumps were stopped, the downstream hydrogen pushed the naptha in the line backwards through the discharge line. the check valve in the discharge line did not operate as designed and the naptha and hydrogen entered 4G-559 causing it to spin in reverse. This caused friction, heat, and vibration significant enough for the pump to seize. Under these conditions, a seal fire is expected.

Discharge Preventable - No

A single check valve installation for this service was the standard design at the time of installation; therefore, the unforseen failure of the check valve to operate as designed was not preventable. This incident had been determined by Motiva to have not been preventable.

Notes/Remedial Actions

The units were brought down in order to stabilize the situation. The materials involved in the fire were largely combusted, as were the materials routed to the flare; they were then dispersed naturally into the air. All residual unburned materials from the pump seal fire were captured by the unit secondary containment system and recycled back into the refinery's recovered oil system. A second check valve has been installed on the discharge line to provide an additional factor of safety against the potential failure of a single check valve.