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Motiva Enterprises (1406), Norco

Releases of Cyclohexane

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

Coker, HCU, West Op Ground flares
Cause: Power failures due to weather (Tropical Storm Cindy) caused various releases from Motiva sources; led to total loss of electrical instrument air compressors and the loss of several steam boilers that caused the shutdown of the HCU and RCCU process units. A voltage sag caused the Coker processor to shut down which resulted in a flaring event.

Followup: No

Notes: Motiva claims that this was not preventable because of the unforeseeable weather conditions.
3.0 pounds

RCCU Flare (EPN #8-84)
Cause: No information given.

Followup: Yes

Notes: No listed remedial actions

No iCoker Flare FE-401 (EPN 2-84)nformation given
Coker Flare FE-401 (EPN 2-84)
Cause: Flaring resulted from the 3/4" drain line on the case of pump P-1983 breaking off while decon piping was being installed, causing the Coker Unit to be shutdown. Flushing oil was released from the pump casing to secondary containment but there was no release outside of the containment or to soil or water.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The Coker Unit was shut down and PV-901 depressured to reduce leaking while pump was isolated. Further corrective actions are being reviewed by Motiva Enterprises' legal department.
0.2 pounds

Coker Flare
Cause: There was an operational upset with the wet gas compressor at the Coker Fractionator that resulted in the opening of the unit's pressure control valve. The opening of this valve allowed emissions to be sent to the Coker Flare thus allow several compound to be released into the air.

Followup: Yes

Notes: after immediate response the problem was troubleshooted. In the end, the high level increase in the overhead accumulator of the Coke Incinerator was corrected and operations returned to normal conditions

DU-5 Naptha Stripper Reboiler [E-1004]
Cause: A leak in the weld of a pipping elbow of the DU-5 Naptha Stripper Reboiler caused by internal corrosion on the reboiler.

Followup: Yes

Notes: RQ. Reportable quantities were exceeded for 8 chemicals including Ethane, Methane, Toulene, and n-Hexane. Refinery report states that "immediately following discovery of the leak, the site's emergency response team was activated and the naphtha stripper was blocked in and depressurized."
15.4 pounds

FLARE: HCU elevated Flare (EPN-4-84)
Cause: "Motiva CR-2 recycle gas compressor (K-2057) tripped due to an expected high level in the CR-2 product separator vessel, which subsequently tripped the CR-2 process unit. A sudden increase in the level in the CR-2 product separator occurred while Motiva operators were placing exchangers (E-1243/44/45) back in service." This subsequently caused the HCU elevated Flare (EPN-4-84) to release naphtha-cyclohexane, ethylbenzene, napthalene,hydrotreated heavy naphtha, hexane, toluene, xylene. FLARE.

Followup: Yes

Notes: BRQ. The refinery letter states that no reportable quantities were exceeded during this incident.

Coker Flare FE-401
Cause: While starting the Coker Jet Pump on 9/29/11 at 6:45pm, the electrical breaker at Motiva's Coking Unit tripped de-energizing the Motor Control Center. Consequently, the Coker Wet Gas Compressor tripped offline therefore resulting in unit flaring and operating in hot circulation mode. Hot circulation mode is an operating mode in which the unit recycles feed at high temperatures. This mode of operation lessens the amount of flaring in comparison to a complete unit shutdown. The initial inspection of the Jet Pump revealed that the auto-transformer serving as a soft start for this pump had failed causing the electrical breaker to trip open. Once repairs were completed, the Coker Unit was safely re-started and flaring stopped.

Followup: No

Notes: Immediately, Operations placed the furnace F-125 in hot steam standby and brought the Coker Unit into hot circulation mode to prevent additional flaring of non treated gas. Norco maintenance personnel were called out to troubleshoot the trip of the Coker Wet Gas Compressor and related equipment. The auto-transformer was removed from the circuit. Relay coordination was modified in order to protect the new circuit. After troubleshooting, maintenance personnel determined that operations could safely re-start the Coker Process Unit. During this time the Coker Wet Gas Compressor was restarted and flaring stopped. By 12/31/11 a study will be completed to determine whether the auto-transformer can be permanently removed from the system. After this study is completed, a strategy will be created to address the required changes. This action will be completed by 3/31/12. Calculations confirm that the reportable quantity for sulfur dioxide was exceeded as well as the permitted maximum pound per hour emission limits for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, VOC's, 1,3 butadiene, and benzene as a result of the release.
2.9 pounds