September 15, 2007 at 1:52 am #3946
HOUSTON, Aug 17, 2007 (Reuters) – Feed to a gasoline-producing fluidic catatlytic cracking unit at ConocoPhillips’ (COP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) 247,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in Sweeny, Texas, was lost on Friday due a malfunction in another unit at the plant, according to a notice filed with state pollution regulators.
The notice filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality did not say if feed to the FCC had been restored. A Conoco representative wasn’t immediately available to discuss refinery operations.
The incident began when the refinery’s Unit 26.1 lost a breaker and several pumps late on Friday morning, according to the filing. The FCC then lost the feed charge, which caused catalyst to build up in the FCC.
A pump motor starter on Unit 26.1 failed, leading to arcing and an electrical fire. Other equipment on 26.1 then failed, setting off the plant’s safety flare, according to the notice.
September 15, 2007 at 1:55 am #7277
This Update was news on COP Sweeny FCC upset. A unit electric failure cascaded into FCC shutdown.
A lot of refineries in early 1990’s shut down boilers & switched key pumps from steam-driven recip drivers to electrical ones because the regulated power cost at $2.4 cents/kwh versus boiler cost on condensate /gas (even at $2.5/MMBTU) / steam production had a pay-out. The thought process was that when power was lost – having critical process pumps, FCC Air blowers & ect on steam driven recips had to shutdown anyway, and backup power would let that happen on electric ones.
Doesn’t Petcoke Gasification & new polygen technology (or CFB options) make a review of reverting back to steam recip’s on refinery wide basis worth looking into? Especially in a refinery environment (I.e. 92-97% capacity year around) where lost production days can never be made up & the potential to keep more of units operating (higher level production) during a failure like this one have huge payouts?
My guess the reason it hasn’t worked that often is because the increasing cost of Carbon emission controls & fact that stupid environmentalist give free pass (not really utilities suffer too but in regards refinery CO2 balance consideration purposes) on CO2 emissions that are tied to electric power used in a refinery.
Independent Carbon & Coke consultant
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