Texas Petrochemicals Corporation - Executive Summary
This Risk Management Plan is for the Texas Petrochemical Corporation (TPC) facility in Houston, Texas. TPC manufactures 1,3 butadiene at this site, which involves processing millions of pounds of flammable substances in the 3, 4, and 5 carbon number range (propanes, butanes, and pentanes). In addition, TPC uses chlorine in ton containers to treat cooling water. |
It is the policy of TPC to take all steps necessary to insure the safey of workers and the community. We are active in the Harris County-City of Houston Local Emergency Planning Committee, Channel Industries Mutual Aid, and East Harris County Manufacturers Association risk management.
The worst-case scenario would be the catastrophic failure of a butadiene storage sphere. This could result in the loss of nearly 10,000,000 pounds of butadiene over a 10 minute period. If that vapor cloud were to detonate in an unconfined vapor cloud explosion, the impact circle would reach offsite areas and have the potential to impact the
public. A more realistic alternate release scenario would be a failure of the 4 inch line running from storage to the loading rack. This could cause the release of 47,000 pounds of butene, assuming that the operator could close the block valves to isolate the failure within 5 minutes. Ignition of this smaller vapor cloud would be unlikely to detonate, so it was evaluated as a vapor cloud fire which barely has the potential to reach across the property boundary. Minimal public impacts would be expected from this flammable alternative release scenario.
The worst-case scenario for chlorine would be a catastrophic failure of a ton container, releasing 2000 pounds over a 10 minute period. This could result in a toxic plume that could extend well beyond the property boundary and would have the potential to impact the public. The more realistic alternative release scenario for chlorine is a leak around the cylinder valve that would release about 347 pounds per minute. While this is al
most as serious a release as the worst case, the impact distance when evaluated under typcial weather conditions would be expected to reach only the very near neighbors.
This facility is subject to OSHA Process Safety Management, and has been operating under PSM for many years. Release and fire prevention programs are mature and effective. While all the PSM elements are important, the key elements in our prevention efforts are process hazard analyses, mechanical integrity, and management of change. PHAs are an exercise in which the potential failures in the system are examined in great detail to try to anticipate every possible failure and to determine how well our safety sysems can control that condition. Mechanical Integrity is the combination of inspections, testing, and preventive maintenance that is designed to prevent mechanical failures. Management of Change is a rigorous process for reviewing the safety implications of any change proposed to the facility. These key eleme
nts are supported by process safety information, operating procedures, training, etc., to provide a comprehensive prevention program.
TPC has not had an accident over the last five years involving a regulated substance that meets the EPA critieria for the five-year accident history.
TPC has an emergency response team and a written emergency response plan. We are active participants in our local LEPC, CIMA, and local industry groups. We exercise and drill our emergency response annually and carefully evaluate the effectiveness to look for ways to improve.
TPC has a mature safety program and good performance in preventing accidents. There are no additional specific changes planned to improve safety, but our prevention efforts are a process in which continuous improvement is the goal.