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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Causal Factor: Start Up, Shut Down

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

West Ops Ground Flare FG-201 (EPN #9-84)
Cause: Flaring due to an unexpected shutdown of a propylene refrigerant compressor in Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit. Shutdown in Shell Chemical's GO-1 Process Unit was due to a high vibration alarm. The compressor is designed to shutdown when it experiences high vibration to prevent damage to the compressor.

Followup: Yes

Notes: GO-1 operations immediately restarted the compressor, but the process unit upset resulting from the shutdown led to flaring at the West Operations Ground Flare. GO-1 operations made adjustments to safely return the process unit to normal conditions. Flaring continued as needed until the unit returned to normal conditions.
Carbon Monoxide: 3,427.0 pounds
Nitrogen Oxide: 85.0 pounds
Particulate Matter: 119.0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 159.0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 1,217.0 pounds
1,3-Butadiene: 63.0 pounds
Hexane: 4.0 pounds
Benzene: 21.0 pounds
Toluene: 4.7 pounds

West Ops Ground Flare (EPN# 9-84)
Cause: Flaring at West Ops Ground Flare (EPN #9-84) occurred due to a shut down and start up of GO-1 Process Unit to repair a leaking heat exchanger.

Followup: No

Notes: Letter states that emissions were BRQ. Emission point was from Motiva Norco's flares. However, the root cause of the accident occurred in Shell Chemical Plant.



Cause: Verbal notification on 11/25/06 states flaring was due to starting Motiva Norco unit up from a turn around.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Verbal notification on 11/25/06 states that intermittent flaring occurred from both coker FE-401 and Utilities East flare FE-501, both of which are elevated flares.


Coker Flare (EPN# 2-84)
Cause: Flaring occurred at the S-2 Incinerator due to the shutdown and restart and Motiva's Sulfur Plant No. 3.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Data gathering to perform calculations and incident investigation is ongoing as of 08/30/06.


RCCU CO Heater (EPN# 2-91)
Cause: Motiva's Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit (RCCU) was shutdown and restarted, releasing materials through the RCCU flue gas scrubber stack. During the RCCU shutdown, incomplete combustion of CO was attributed to high oxygen content in the CO heater firebox. The increase in oxygen was a result of cooling air being directed into the CO heater's CO annulus vua the unit's I-5 trip system. This system was tripped (open) during the initial shutdown of the unit, and was not reset (closed) prior to the restart of the RCCU.

Followup: No

Notes: Operations notified the Site Supervisor and took steps to minimize emissions resulting from the release. The cooling air to the CO annulus was reset and closed. Existing RCCU operating procedures regarding the rest of air to CO annulus have been amended.
Carbon Monoxide: 2,906.8 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide: 1,131.7 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): 56.1 pounds


None Reported
Cause: Unexpected shutdown of a compressor in Shell's GO-1 Process Un

Followup: Yes

Notes: None.