Williams identifies Geismar blast origin

By OGJ editors

Williams Partners LP said the June 13 explosion that killed two workers at its Geismar, La., olefins plant originated in the area of the propylene fractionator (OGJ Online, June 13, 2013).

Williams has identified the fatalities as Scott Thrower, supervisor of operations, and Zachary Green, an operator.

In a June 24 report of its initial damage assessment, the company said workers are on site to begin planning repair and continuation of work planned before the tragedy, including a maintenance turnaround and a 600-million-lb/year capacity expansion. Existing capacity is 1.35 million lb/year of ethylene.

Williams said piping, heat exchangers, and reboilers adjacent to the propylene fractionator were seriously damaged and probably will need to be replaced.

It said sections of the electrical cable trays in elevated parts of a pipe rack adjacent to the propylene fractionator tower received enough damage to require replacement of “significant amounts” of the power cable and control wiring in the plant.

And about 50 ft of the plant pipe rack containing portions of the plant steam system, pipeline ethane feed vaporization systems, and fuel-gas conditioning equipment received damaging requiring replacement of support structures and piping.




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