14 May 2006

Chemical Released From The Reactor

Safety Incident Topic: Chemical Released
Location Of Incident: Mai Liao, Taiwan
Date Of Incident: 22nd December 2005

Brief Account Of Incident
An estimated 4-5 tonnes of Reactor material was released due to failure of a week joint at nozzle 16A of a 6" minimum flow line of a catalyst recycle pump. A microsphere glass filled PTFE gasket (GYLON 3504) which was installed at a CL150 pipe flange failed due to overpressure. The incident occured during commissioning activities where the plant was being prepared for the first start-up following completion of catalyst conversion. The estimated value of material lost is USD 150, 000.

There were no injury to personnel and no breach of environmental consent during this incident. All materials released were contained within the complex's effluent system boundary.

Potential Outcome
Potential serious injury to personnel

Likely Causes
. Inadequate technical design - design output inconsistent
. Inadequate standards, specifications, and/or design criteria
. Inadequate evaluation and/or documentation of change

Action Taken
. The plant start-up activities stopped
. The spill area was immediately secured to prevent unauthorized entry
. Cause of the joint failure determined and split backing flanges added to reinforce the joints.
. minimum flow valve is capped at 82% opening maximum.
. Recommendation sought from the design contractor to increase the strength at the joint as a permanent solution.

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