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Valero Houston FCC Flared – C3 splitter problem

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    Charles Randall
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    Restart at Valero’s Houston refinery causes flaring
    Houston, 14 October, 2008 (Argus) – Valero Energy’s Houston, Texas, refinery flared Monday after a cold startup of the fluid catalytic cracker (FCC), the company said in a state filing.
    The 90,000 b/d refinery’s FCC unit propylene splitter column developed high pressure during restart and flared from 12:35 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. EST, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality filing said. Personnel reduced the propylene splitter feed rate to improve stability.
    Valero is trying to bring production at the plant back to normal levels following an 11 September shut down shortly before Hurricane Ike’s landfall two days later. The refinery survived the storm without significant damage and began restart processes around 17 September.
    San Antonio-based Valero did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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