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Placid Refining (2366), Port Allen

Releases in 2011

LDEQ Accident Number
Accident Date
Point Source/Release CauseNotes

Point Source(s):
incinerator 2 at sulfur plant #3

Sulfur Dioxide - 4,168 pounds
Carbon Dioxide - BRQ
Nitrogen - BRQ
Hydrogen - BRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Vapor - BRQ
Carbon Monoxide - BRQ
Carbon Disulfide - BRQ
Carbonyl Sulfide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Equipment Design

The #2 SRU tripped causing the air shutdown valve to close, forcing operations to shift the feed from the #2 SRU to the #3 SRU. The catalyst in the #2 TGTU became overloaded from the excess feed and breakthrough occurred causing sulfur to carryover to the #2 TGTU Quench Tower. The #2 TGTU Quench Tower became plugged with Sulfur and could not run at full capacity. The #2 TGTU had to be bypassed in order to clean the #2 TGTU Quench Tower. Reached RQ at 18:45 on the 23rd due to bypassing the #2 Tailgas unit. Normal was not reached until the 25th. The facility goes on to report that the shutdown was caused by a malfunction of a safety shutdown inherent to the technology of the design of the unit.
In an effort to reduce the quantity of sulfur dioxide emissions from this incident, the refinery reduced the charge rate to the FCCU, discontinued processing LCO through the Diesel Hydrotreater and put the Sour Water Gas to the #2 SRU. These steps allowed them to keep the #3 SRU at minimum feed rates while the Quench tower in the #2 TGTU (which served the #3 SRU) was being cleaned. The shutdowns on the #2 SRU were tested and found to be in good working order. If it is shutdowns again, their alternative will be to divert the feed to the #3 SRU or flare Acid Gas. Placid does not feel that design, operational, or maintenance changes are required because shutdowns are tested during every turnaround. They classify this incident as unusual and rare, therefore, it is not expected to have a significant probability of occurring again. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was greater than 20.0 pounds per hour continuously for three consecutive hours or more. Placid Refinery then pushed more pollution out of SRU #3. Sulfur component releases from SRU #3 production from the start of the incident on 12/23/11 to 12/25/11 were approximately 1,380 lbs.

Point Source(s):
Sulfur plants #2 and #3

Sulfur Dioxide - 134 pounds
Hydrogen Sulfide - 5 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Sulfur Plant No. 2 Shutdown causing the No. 1 Incinerator to exceed the CEMS 500 ppm sulfur dioxide span until all of the acid gas load was shifted to Sulfur Plant No. 3. The increased load cause the No. 2 Incinerator to exceed the CEMS 500 ppm sulfur dioxide span until Sulfur Plant No. 2 was restarted. Both of the incinerators are permitted sources.
Restarted Sulfur Plant No. 2.

Point Source(s):

Carbon Monoxide - 1 pounds
Nitric Oxide - 1 pounds
Particulate Matter 10 - 0 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 0 pounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - 0 pounds
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

Placid Refining Company operates a flare gas recovery unit that recovers routinely generated gases that would have been otherwise flared in Source ID 18-74. The recovery unit was shut down due to turnaround related unit cleaning activities sending high concentrations of nitrogen and steam into the flare system. This control device bypass was not approved via a variance.
Report states that no RQ's were exceeded. On the other hand, it also says that mass emission permit limits for the flare were exceeded. Placid has requested a GCXVII activity be added to their permit to cover monthly preventative maintenance on the system but this will only cover 5 hours per month. Operations will notify environmental department prior to shutting down system in the future so it can be addressed properly with the agency prior to activity. Report says to see an attached calculation with the name and quantity of released pollutants. Report shows no sign of such calculation.
No LDEQ Number Available

Point Source(s):
#1 Incinerator

Sulfur Dioxide - 3,695 pounds
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

The Sulfur Plant was shut down during the turnaround to replace the catalyst, as it was no longer active. Residual sulfur must be removed from the reactor beds to prevent the beds from plugging or solidifying. If the reactor beds are not swept of the residual sulfur, it becomes more hazardous to remove the old catalyst. The refinery notes that, even if the catalyst was not being replaced, it is likely that the catalyst would have plugged if the sweeping procedure was not performed, and it would not be able to achieve proper flow through the Sulfur Plant during startup.
The refinery will contact a Sulfur Plant specialist to explore any other possible shutdown techniques for sweeping the catalyst that do not cause a TG incident.

Point Source(s):

Smoke - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

Reformer Compressor shutdown due to electric failure.
Process upset was routed to the flare for release control. Operations safely shutdown the reformer unit and switched downstream unit to pipeline hydrogen.

Point Source(s):
FLARE: Tailgas treater unit

Sulfur Dioxide - 3,696 pounds
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

The tailgas treater unit from SRU2 was bypassed due to plugging in quench tower servicing #1TGTU.
They swept the catalyst bed with sweet gas and washed the quench tower with fresh water. "Malfunction was corrected" No offsite monitoring, no onsite monitoring, not able to determine if offsite was impacted but they note air dispersion.

Point Source(s):

Methane - BRQ
Ethane - BRQ
Propane - BRQ
Butane - BRQ
Hydrogen Sulfide - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Process Upset

The main air blower tripped in the FCC unit. Because the feed was pulled from the unit there was potential for a release.
They were bringing the unit back up and waiting for stabilization.

Point Source(s):
No Information Given

Naphtha - 0
Cause of Problem: Equipment Failure

State police report states that an there was an equipment failure of an unknown cause. However, in an effort to isolate the leak that was discovered, a fire started. The leak was composed of naphtha and was burned into the air. FIRE.
The leak was isolated. Liquid was contained in a concrete curbed area. The liquid would drain to the sewer system to be processed and discharged. Placid Refining Fire Fighters were called to put out the fire. LDEQ report only. No Refinery Letter.

Point Source(s):
Tank: VOC control device

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - BRQ
Cause of Problem: Maintenance/Procedures

LDEQ states that the VOC stream from tank emissions was rerouted from one control device to another control device. No net emissions change from what was permitted was reported. The listed control device in the air permit for the VOC stream was taken out of service for unscheduled maintenance. It is reported that the alternate control device efficiency is equal or greater than that required by the permit.
BRQ. No Information Given. LDEQ included. No Refinery Letter.

Point Source(s):
Frac Water Tank

Water or Wastewater - 18,735 gallons
Cause of Problem: Human Factors

A water supply line to a water storage tank was not completely closed and the valve was not broken or in need of repair.
IPT will develop a written checklist detailing the shut down procedures for the water feed and treatment area. The shift supervisor reported that water samples were clear and had no free hydrocarbons. IPT reported recovering 18,735 gallons of potable water in total.