U.S. Chemical Safety Board Investigation 2016 Pascagoula Gas Plant Explosion

Date: March 24th, 2019

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released its final report of the June 27, 2016, investigation of an explosion and fire at the Enterprise Products Pascagoula Gas Plant in Pascagoula, MS. The CSB determined that the probable cause was a phenomenon known as thermal fatigue.

The incident occurred late in the evening on June 27, 2016, when a major loss of containment in a heat exchanger resulted in the release of methane, ethane, propane, and several other hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons ignited, initiating a series of fires and explosions, which ultimately shut down the site for almost six months.

The 2016 incident, as well as four other BAHX failure events at other facilities, illustrate that relying on a leak-before-failure assumption is not adequate. In its findings the CSB determined that operators of midstream gas plants need a more robust assessment and risk management plan that considers thermal fatigue to prevent the risk of sudden and catastrophic rupture of BAHX.

New Tools for Learning

The CSB is also released an interactive 3D model of the heat exchanger used at the Enterprise Plant to enhance understanding of how this type of heat exchanger operates and its vulnerability to thermal fatigue.

Why wait for the CSB to create a 3D model after an investigation? Give us a call to discuss how we can help you be proactive in mitigating risk in your environment using immersive learning.


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