Damaged compressor : dual-stage compressor compressing ethylene from 3 to 33 bar. It operates alternately with the main compressor. On the day of the accident, it had been in operation for 43 days since its last maintenance five months prior. It was located next to two other compressors (Nos. 2 and 3). The latter two had been shut down and automatically isolated upon activation of the gas detectors, which was not the case for the damaged compressor No. 1, which had to be isolated manually from the control room.
In a petrochemical complex, a [...]
Two explosions ripped through a petrochemical complex at night
The blasts occurred around 3 am in the storage zone of a petrochemical plant: 2 tanks ignited and their floating roofs were damaged. The 1st tank contained 11,300 m³ of pyrolysis gasoline (a mix of diesel, butene, toluene and butadiene). The 2nd tank, located 300 m away, was holding 48,000 m³ of naphtha. On-site fire-fighters, backed up by neighbouring facilities' response teams, arrived on the scene in large numbers. The complex operator activated the internal emergency plan and n [...]
In a chemical plant, a leak of effluents containing acetonitrile (a harmful and flammable solvent) from the process wastewater system lead to groundwater contamination. As the network was used only sporadically, the duration of the leak could not be accurately determined. A maximal estimate gave 557 days. The potential loss is estimated to be 61 t of acetonitrile.
Wells were established to try to recover the pollutant through pumping and to sample the groundwater. Three tonnes of acetonitrile were recovered by pumping operations over a period [...]
A storm surge coinciding with high tides flooded the salt caverns used to store hydrocarbons at a petrochemical site. The alert was given at around 11:00 p.m. by a technician who was conducting a patrol. The remote-controlled shut-off valves were closed to isolate the caverns. The transfer of hydrocarbons to and from the site was interrupted. The site operator worked with the government authorities to manage the flood.
All pressure equipment was secured. The wellheads of the caverns and the piping suffered relatively little damage. The electri [...]