Union Carbide Explosion 1975

An explosion and fire caused extensive damage at a low-density polyethylene plant. The cause was a leak of ethylene at high pressure, due to fatigue failure of a vent connection on the suction of a compressor. Six people were killed, and 13 injured.

Kuraray America Explosion 2018

An explosion at Kuraray America on May 19, 2018, injured 21 workers at the EVAL facility in Pasadena, Texas. The facility manufactures ethylene vinyl-alcohol copolymers, sold as EVAL. Kuraray America is a Tokyo-based specialty chemical manufacturer. During pre-startup pressure-testing activities of a chemical reactor, an abnormal high-pressure condition occurred and over 2,000 pounds of ethyleneContinue reading “Kuraray America Explosion 2018”

Phillips 66 Explosion 1989

At approximately 1:00 p.m. on the 23rd October 1989 Phillips’ 66 chemical complex at Pasadena, near Houston (USA) experienced a chemical release on the polyethylene plant. A flammable vapour cloud formed which subsequently ignited resulting in a massive vapour cloud explosion. Following this initial explosion there was a series of further explosions and fires. TheContinue reading “Phillips 66 Explosion 1989”

Chevron Phillips (Cedar Bayou) Flood 1994

The Texas floods along the San Jacinto River shutdown the site, involving 650,000 tons-per-year ethylene, 200,000 tons-per-year linear low-density polyethene (LLDPE), 280,000 tons-per-year low-density polyethene (LDPE) plants, and general utilities. The loss of utilities affected further downstream clients. Flood water breached dikes around the main substation and inundated control rooms and offices. [ Property DamageContinue reading “Chevron Phillips (Cedar Bayou) Flood 1994”

Lavera Fire 2012

The incident occurred as a two-train, ethylene cracker was being started up after its major six-year turnaround. A spanner was left in the pipework going to the medium pressure stage of a compressor. This resulted in the compressor tripping on high vibration. The trip caused an overpressure in the high pressure stage of the compressorContinue reading “Lavera Fire 2012”

Priolo Fire 1985

A faulty temperature probe on a 600,000-metric-ton-per-year ethylene plant initiated an isolation of the hydrogenation reactor located within the cold section. While the operators were attempting to regain normal control, the pressure relief system operated. About the same time, fire was noted near grade level at the base of the de-ethanizer column. The source ofContinue reading “Priolo Fire 1985”

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