12 September 2007

Boiler Fuel Oil Leakage

Safety Incident Topic: Boiler Fuel Oil Leakage
Location of Incident: Capco, Taiwan
Date of Incident: 17 July, 2005

Brief Account of Incident
On July 17th 03:10, BU6 operator discovered oil from the Oil Separator was pumped to open ditch within the plant site. After checked the related pipeline, he found that one of boilers fuel oil pump, AG-602B, casing drain was not fully closed. It was estimated that a total of approximately 11 MT of fuel oil leaked since July 15th 17:30 when AG-602B was undergoing a testing run after repaired work by the maintenance team. The open ditch is a close system connected to the plant’s wastewater treatment system, and hence the oil did not flow outside of the plant site. Plant emergence response team was activated immediately and all oil was collected from the open ditch and Oil Separator and open ditch was cleaned on the same day. The collected oil was sent to Chinese Petroleum Corp. CPC for further treatment. There was no damage to the plant and the outside environment.

Potential Outcome
Overload wastewater treatment system and increase waste water effluent fee from Union wastewater treatment plant of Industrial Zone.

What Went Wrong
1. One of boiler fuel oil pump, casing drain leaked
2. Oil separator was accumulated a lot of fuel oil
3. Inadequate enforcement of safety procedure

1. Defective equipment - Fuel oil pump’s casing drain was connected with dark plastic hose, and then to a collection pipe. Operator can not easily check leak status.
2. Improper decision making or lack of judgment - Operator started air pump to remove bottom water from oil separator but didn’t make sure pump discharge fluid was water or oil.
3. Inadequate or excessive illumination - Oil separator area is poorly illuminated.

Inadequate enforcement of PSP - Field operators was not properly enforced to patrol and detect equipment leakage.

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