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  • Investigation is to determine causes of the accident in Amuay refinery
    édité le 30/08/2012 - Plus de news de "PDVSA" - Voir la fiche entreprise de "PDVSA"

Investigation is to determine causes of the accident in Amuay refinery
Ángel Esteban, Industrial Safety and Occupational Health Executive Director of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), said in an interview with a private TV network that there is an ongoing investigation to determine the causes that led to the tragic events occurred last Saturday in the facilities of the Paraguaná Refining Center (CRP).

Esteban said: “We do not know the root cause, neither the secondary causes that allow us to say at this time what happened: A cloud of escaped gas ignited and there was an explosion, which in turn caused damages that can be observed and detected. Even now we are clearing debris and we are assessing damages that could be caused by the shock wave”.

“It is evident that there was a gas leak. But what caused the gas leak? The accident is under investigation. We cannot reach any conclusion. It would be irresponsible to speculate about the causes of the leak and how the explosion was set off”, Esteban said.

With regard to the early warning systems in emergencies, Esteban said: “We work in accordance with the philosophy of a safe design for the construction of plants. There are layers of security which include control systems that are related with pressure and temperature control systems, volume of flow, and the pressure that has been generated at that unit”.

PDVSA’s Executive Director also said that all the reports and data produced in such situations are sent to the control panels, where operators work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They monitor any abnormality or malfunction in the plant. The members of this department are responsible for sending immediately early warning information, in case of an emergency. “This is all recorded. Everything happening in the plant, from the point of view of processes, is registered”.

With regard to the alleged maintenance flaws at the Paraguaná Refining Center, on which some opposition sectors have speculated, Esteban said: “"it is easy to say that maintenance operations are not carried out; routine maintenance of systems is undertaken regularly as well as major shutdowns. These actions are decided by reliable equipment and staff who control the system, especially when the plant is operating with hazardous substances which cause high risk due to the conditions of the above mentioned parameters”.

At the same time, the Industrial Safety Executive Director publicly recognized the efforts of the workers responsible for restarting full operations at Amuay refinery: “I am so proud to say that our emergency control staff and our professional and volunteer firefighters have been trained and have the skills to deal with these situations and have a lot of experience”.

“Thanks to their timely response and the control of emergency, there were no further damages, due to the watchfulness and knowledge of our team”, he said.

To see the Paraguaná Refining Center site

Origine : Communiqué PDVSA

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