On Friday, April 10, a steam turbine that drives a large gas compressor at the Husky Lima Refinerys FCC (Fluid Catalytic Cracker) Unit developed a vibration and was safely shut down by Unit Process Operators.As a result, the light end hydrocarbon gases, very similar to natural gas, that are normally processed by this compressor for later use in the refining process, have been sent to a refinery flare causing a larger than normal flame.
Flares are specially designed safety devices that allow hydrocarbon gases to be safely burned off by using a specially designed burner tip where steam is injected to prevent the production of smoke and to allow for the efficient burning of hydrocarbons.Additional noise may also be heard as a result of this injection of steam.
The flaring of these light gases is being kept to a minimum by marginally reducing production rates on the affected process unit only. This is a safe and routine operating procedure. Repairs to the compressor turbine are expected to be completed by Tuesday, April 21.Any further updates may be obtained by calling the Husky Care Line at 419-226-2548.