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Beyond VCE: Addressing Fire Hazards As Part of Facility Siting

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 2, 2019
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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Following influential facility siting incidents such as the 2005 BP Texas City Explosion, it was recognized that vapor cloud explosions were a significant risk to facilities due to the sudden and catastrophic nature of the events. As a result, API’s recommended practices for facility siting were revised to include additional guidance to ensure safe placement of portable and permanent buildings and tents in relation to process equipment.

One hazard that has similar catastrophic consequences, but is discussed in less detail is fire hazard. Sites that do not have significant congestion still have the potential to generate catastrophic flame impingement, particularly when examining “jet fire” hazards. As demonstrated by the Hickson & Welch LTD1 incident that occurred on September 21, 1992, jet fire can have a sudden and devastating consequence to buildings and the occupants they house. In this incident, 5 building occupants lost their lives as a runaway reaction during maintenance activities ignited a powerful jet fire that destroyed a control building and caused significant damage to a nearby office building.

Abstract Proposal:

Marathon Pipe Line (MPL) and ABS Consulting would like to provide a presentation that highlights facility siting research conducted for terminals and pipeline stations and how this information helped the Marathon Logistics & Storage (L&S) organization develop internal guidance for safe placement of buildings at all supported facilities. Due to the limited congestion at these facilities, fire hazards are the most relevant and significant hazard for facility siting at these locations. As the values identified by internal data vary significantly from existing CCPS guidance, L&S developed a standard that specifically addresses fire hazards through a consistent modeling approach.

As part of this presentation, MPL and ABS will provide background information regarding the L&S Facility Siting Standard, including discussion on the Hickson & Welch jet fire incident, technical modeling information, and will also review the management of buildings and tents at facilities utilizing the Management of Change (MOC) process.

At the conclusion of the presentation, MPL and ABS welcome any further discussion and questions regarding fire hazards related to facility siting as part of an effort to increase the awareness of this significant hazard.

1HSE Books; The fire at HICKSON & WELCH LTD; A report of the incident by the Health and Safety Executive into the fatal fire at Hickson & Welch Ltd, Castleford on 21 September 1992

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