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Chalmette Refining (1376), Chalmette

Causal Factor: Power Failure

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release

Sulfur Recovery Unit Thermal Oxidizer Stack
Cause: Loss of power triggered upset of refinery and shutdown of the refinery's operating sulfur recovery unit.

Followup: No

Notes: A power outage and refinery shutdown resulted in flaring, including a release of Sulfur Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulfide, Nitric Oxide, and Nitrogen Dioxide beginning 12/5/05 and continuing intermittently during the repair of equipment damaged by the outage. The power outage occurred when Entergy was doing some work at the Meraux substation. The entire refinery lost power. The units are now back on line but at minimal rates while repairs are being performed. The refinery is still flaring S02 and H2S because there was damage to the sulphur plant. Operations were conducted in order to minimize emissions while maintaining a safe and orderly stabilization of refinery operation and restart of some refinery process units. Refinery Management has met with Entergy to stress the impact of this incident and request that appropriate measures be taken in order to prevent a recurrence. Operations were conducted in order to minimize emissions while maintains a safe and orderly stabilization of refinery operations and restart of some refinery process units. This is clearly far exceeding the reportable quantity for sulfur dioxide (RQ=500 lbs).
Hydrogen Sulfide: 2,371.0 pounds
Nitric Oxide: 2,070.0 pounds
Nitrogen Dioxide: 230.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 900,344.0 pounds

FCC regenerator flue gas scrubber vent
FLARE: Thox stack, Flare # 1 and 2
FLARE: Flare #1
Cause: Bus bar short to ground due to unsealed air gaps created a voltage dip which resulted in power loss to multiple units which then had to flare. Pressure imbalance in the FCC regenerator resulted in loss of catalyst through the regenerator flue gas scrubber vent. FLARE.

Followup: Yes

Notes: "To reduce the likelihood of recurrence, sealant was installed between the bus bars and supports in PS 7711 and acoustic inspection is being performed at another power station that was designed and installed by the same contractor." Refinery letter states that "there was no emergency condition related to this release and the resulting community exposures would not be expected to have acute or chronic health impacts."
Spent Catalyst: 38,000.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 106,646.0 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide: 283.0 pounds

unspecified piping
Cause: Leak in piece of piping related to power failure

Followup: No

Notes: no information given


No Information Given
Cause: Chalmette Refining LLC had a power failure. The main breaker was lost.

Followup: No

Notes: No information was given. LDEQ Report included. No Refinery Letter was included.


Fluid Catalytic Cracker (FCC) Unit
Cause: According to LDEQ, there was "a pump shut down due to a power trip. After thepump shut down, pressure levels built in the absorber column," which resulted in a release of sulfur dioxide.

Followup: No

Notes: BRQ According to LDEQ, "There is a back-up pump in case of emergency where flow was restored during the... flaring." No further information given.
Sulfur Dioxide: 187.0 pounds

No Information Given
Cause: Power trip caused flare gas compressors to power down temporarily causing Sulfur Dioxide release.

Followup: No

Notes: According to facility representative, the release was minimal and did not result in the need for flaring.


Coker 2 Gas Compressor
Cause: A lightning strike caused a temporary loss of power from Entergy resulting in a shutdown of the K8101 wet gas compressor. On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at approximately 1026 hours, Chalmette Refinery experienced a disruption in power service causing the coker 2 gas compressor to trip (K8101). This resulted in the fractionator overhead valve opening to the flare system to control the pressure. K8101 restart attempts failed and the flare gas management (FGM) compressors stopped pumping from the increased molecular weight. Flare 1 was out of service for maintenance activities and the gas was routed to the #2 Flare system to ensure safe operations. K8101 was restarted at 1420 hours and at approximately 1640 hours the FGM compressors were restarted and H2S levels decreased. All systems were normal at 1800 hours.

Followup: Yes

Notes: After several attempts to restart K8101 flare gasses were routed to the #2 Flare to ensure safe operations. All efforts were taken to get the flare system back in normal operation as quickly as possible.
Sulfur Dioxide: 24,480.0 pounds