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Valero (26003), Norco

Releases of Hexane

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source(s) Notes Amount of Release
130948

2011-05-02
Coker LPG line
Cause: Valero had blinded and de-inventoried the Coke LPG line as part of a project to elevate the Prospect Road pipe bridge that connects their East Plant and West Plant. The blinds were removed several days prior to the incident but valves in the pipe system remained closed. Valero believes that gas leaked by one of the valves and accumulated in a section of pipe after the blind had been removed on the West Plant side of the project area thus trapping gas between two closed valves. On the day of the incident, the project operator opened the downstream valve in the pipe bridge that was closest to the FCCU in order to commission a new section of pipe; the upstream valve remained. When the valve was cracked open, gas that had accumulated in the pipe leaked out into the FCCU which was undergoing construction at the time of the incident.

Followup: Yes

Notes: Coker liquified petroleum gas (LPG) which is composed mainly of butenes and propenes was released from pipe openings in the FCCU area and dispersed. Emissions were minimized by isolating the coker LPG line. Valero identified the following corrective actions and target completion dates were identified as a result of the root cause failure analysis of this incident: (1) Issue safety alert on this incident to all personnel (2) Review incident with operators and discuss need for good communications when lining up piping to units (3) Develop a battery limits blind list for the FCCU for use during future turnarounds (4) Develop a battery limits list for Complex III (Crude-Vacuum-Coker units) for use during future turnarounds
80.6 pounds
150290

2013-08-09
6d 14hr 24m
Coker No. 2 Steam Vent
Flares 1,2,3,4&5
Flares 1,2,3,4&5; 30, 1600, & 3700 TOX; FCCU; GDU; Boilers B-401C, B-401D, & 401-E
Flares 1,2,3,4&5; Coker no. 2 Steam Vent
Flares 1,2,3,4&5; Coker No. 2 Steam Vent; Boilers B-401C, B-401D, & 401-E
Flares 1,2,3,4&5; FCCU; GDU; Boiler B-401C, B-401D, & 401-E
Flares 1,2,3,4&5; FCCU; GDU; Boilers B-401C & B-401D
Flares 1,2,4&5; 30, 1600, & 3700 TOX; Coker No. 2 Steam Vent
Flares 1,2,4&5; Coker no. 2 Steam Vent
Cause: On August 9, 2013, at approximately 22:51 hrs, Valero experienced an interruption in power supply caused by a surge arrestor electrical fault. The interruption caused the shutdown of multiple process units and resulted in excess emissions from the boilers, Sulfur Recovery Units (SRUs), Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU), Gasoline Desulfurization Unit (GD), Coker Unit, and refinery flares. During recovery process of the power loss event, shutdowns occurred to both the Hydrocracker unit (HCU) and Ultra-low sulfur diesel unit (ULSD) resulting in flaring. Both unit shutdowns were related to the shutdown of their recycle gas compressors. The HCU's recycle gas compressor malfunctioned due to a low steam pressure which was directed related to the power loss event. The ULSD shutdown due to a malfunction of the recycle gas compressor's primary lube oil pump, and a delayed response for the startup of the secondary lube oil pump. We are unable to determine if the shutdown of the ULSD was directed related to the power loss event. However, the emission contributed to the HCU and ULSD shutdowns are considered as part of the same power loss event and are included herein.

Followup: Yes

Notes: The power loss caused the Crude Unit and Vacuum Unit to shut down immediately, thus preventing the manufacture of intermediates that feed subsequent process units. Downstream units were placed in circulation mode through manually closing valves, lowering reactor temperature and restarting tripped equipment such as compressors and pumps. Steam production was also increased as available to allow units to continue in circulation mode until power was restored. The HCU and ULSD units were re-started to reduce excess emissions. In addition, the flare gas recovery unit remain in operation during the entire incident to reduce the amount of flared gas. To prevent recurrence, the following procedures will be adopted: 1) Perform thermal scans of the surge arrestors in the Prospect and Good Hope Substation yards. 2) Perform routine thermal scans of the surge arrestors in the Prospect and Good Hope Substation yards. 3) Complete the evaluation of all existing Valero owned surge arrestors in the Prospect and Good Hope Substation yards to determine if they are of the same age and model of the T3 arrestors that have shown signs of degradation. To data, the surge arrestors on T4 transformers have been identified as being of the same vintage and design as the failed arrestors and will be the first targeted for replacement as will all arrestors of this design. 4) Evaluate one of the non-failed surge arrestors removed from service to determine if any degradation has started to occur. 5) Develop a plan to routinely replace all surge arrestors in 230KV service at 10 year intervals. 6) Review this incident and emergency procedures with affect personnel. 7) Evaluate raising the autostart pressure setting on the auxiliary lube oil pump. 8) Evaluate increasing the trip time delay on the low-low lube oil shutdown. 9) Consider installing a valve on the make-up hydrogen at the ULSD unit battery limits to prevent fresh hydrogen from being introduced to the unit during a period of malfunction. 10) Add to existing Emergency Operation Procedure to account for Diamond Green Diesel, which is connected to the ULSD. 11) Contact corporate hydrocracking specialists to determine if the logic should be modified to initiate high rate depressurization upon loss of recycle gas compressor. Reportable quantities were exceeded for H2S, SO2, NOx, and VOCs.
263.0 pounds
155645

2014-04-30
Flare 1
Flares 1, 2, 3
Cause: The fluid cat cracking unit (FCCU) wet gas compressor shut down due to a loss of power that resulted from a transformer short circuit and a circuit breaker malfunction. As a result, flaring occurred from permitted flares 1, 2 and 3. Workers reduced total feed and reactor temperature in the FCCU to minimize flaring until compressors could be restarted. Transformer failed in the EP-03A substation. A relay setting associated with this system was not set properly and allowed the fault current to reach the Good Hope Substation. The fault was cleared by the breaker at the Good Hope Substation. As a result, several other transformers also tripped and upset the FCCU. This accident exceeded maximum hourly permitted emissions for sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, hexane, and Volatile Organic Compounds at Flare 1 for one hour. Maximum hourly permitted emissions were also exceeded for NOx and carbon monoxide at Flare 2 for one hour. Maximum hourly permitted emissions for sulfur dioxide and Volatile Organic Compounds at Flare 2 for 5 hours. Reportable quantities for sulfur dioxide and propylene were exceeded.

Followup: Yes

Notes: At the time of the accident, emissions were minimized by reducing the overall rate to the unit and reactor temperature. Operators responded by adjusting the power distribution system in order to reestablish the poewr source and restart the compressors. Throughout the event, the Flare Gas Recovery Unit remained in operation to reduce the amount of flared gas. Process changes have been implemented as corrective actions. These include: - updated relay settings - refinery arch flash study and relay setting review - even distribution of four P82-808 pumps across the electrical feed buses - modify MOC checklist to include relay settings and coordination curves - modify PSSR checklist to include relay settings and coordination curves - require all new or changed relay setting requested through CSE with relay setting/coordination curve request form - communicate incident to affected personnel - communicate incident and path forward to CSE electrical engineers, MP electrical engineers and maintenance electrical supervision
11.9 pounds