May 13, 2022

No emergency reported as Indorama Ventures loses unit and steam production, proceeds with flaring

Update 3:52 p.m.

Over the past hour, Port Neches Fire Chief Eloy Vega said firefighters observed that the situation appeared to be under control. Although there were some illuminating flames coming from the units, he said there was no more black smoke.

Firefighters received an update from Indorama which assured crews were working to get units back online. It’s unclear if the units are back online at press time, he said.

“From what we’ve learned from discussing this with our counterparts here at the Indorama plant, the loss of steam used to produce their product, that production has gone down, so they’ve lost steam,” said declared Vega. “It triggered a safety mechanism to relieve pressure from their line. When it releases the pressure, it exits towards the outlets which point towards the sky, which causes this flame and the excess product to evaporate and form black smoke.

“From what we heard from the technicians at Indorama, the system worked as it should, which again resulted in black smoke, so the pressure was relieved from their lines,” he said. he continued. “They assured us that there was no emergency at the scene or an immediate threat to the surrounding communities.”

Original story:

Emergency officials provided an update regarding black smoke seen from Indorama Ventures in Port Neches on Wednesday.

The Southeast Texas Alert Network and the City of Port Neches reported shortly before 2 p.m. that the facility had lost a unit and steam output, resulting in flare and black smoke. No emergencies have been reported at this time and facility crews are working to repair the steam system, the alert said.

Indorama said it is currently closing operating units that would require flaring.

“Flares are safety devices that allow us to safely burn excess gases,” Indorama said in the STAN alert. “The safety of our employees, contractors and the surrounding community is always our priority. No action is required.

Two more alerts, including from the petrochemical plant and from the fire chief and emergency management coordinator for the town of Groves, Lance Billeaud, followed within two minutes of the alert.

They will burn until these generating units are operational again,” Billeaud said. “There has been no product release of any kind and there is no danger to the public. They will continue to monitor this throughout the process and will stay in contact with local authorities.”

No other information was immediately available. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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