Black smoke near Sasol plant caused by burning of excess products through flares

Source: KPLC Facebook friend Bridget Richard Guidry
Source: KPLC Facebook friend Bridget Richard Guidry

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Calcasieu OEP Director Dick Gremillion said the Sasol plant unit in Lake Charles was burning off excess products through one of their flares. According to Gremillion said this is "pretty standard" when starting up a unit.

Gremillion also said there have been no accidents reported.

Sasol public affairs manager Michael Hayes said the incident was a part of a start up with one of the ethylene plants. Hayes says the plant had some equipment issues last week which caused a temporary shut down.

Hayes said due air impurities during this afternoon's start up, Sasol had to put some of it through the flare causing a cloud of black smoke.

"The smoke represents incomplete combustion," said Hayes. "So, the gas is converted into sud basically."

Hayes said it caused a couple of minutes of smoke until they put steam and eventually ended the smoking.

Hayes also said there were no injuries reported.

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