Friday, 14 April 2017

Essar fined £1.7M for explosion at oil refinery

Oil company Essar has been fined £1,707,644 (inc.costs) following an explosion at its Stanlow refinery.
The circumstances were:
  1. A furnace as part of the main distillation unit had been shut down.
  2. A safety critical valve was ordered but installed incorrectly.
  3. Essar failed to correctly validate its operation.
  4. Essar failed to recognise the system also had a by-pass line  which defeated the trip’s operation.
  5. Although the main fuel line to the furnace had been isolated, because of [4] the secondary fuel line had not been isolated.
  6. During restart on 14 November 2013, extremely flammable hydrocarbons were allowed to enter the unignited furnace via the secondary line.
  7. Heat from another furnace nearby triggered an explosion.
  8. This destroyed the furnace and started a number of fires which the Fire Service had to safely bring under control.
  9. There were no injuries but the damage totalled £20M.

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