Sasol expects intermittent flaring for next several hours - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sasol expects intermittent flaring for next several hours

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The Sasol chemical complex in Westlake will experience flaring for the next few hours, a company spokeswoman said Monday.

"We have had an upset in our ethylene unit, which required use of our flaring system," said Sasol spokeswoman Kim Cusimano.

Cusimano said there were no injuries or offsite impact.

"There is no need for the community to take any action," she said. "At this time, the unit is stabilizing, and there will likely be intermittent flaring for the next several hours."

According to the EPA a flare is an important safety device, particularly at processing plants. In an emergency situation where equipment or piping becomes over-pressured, special valves on the equipment automatically release gas through piping to flare stacks. In the absence of safety flares, plants would be at higher risk for fires and explosions.

"We apologize for any inconvenience, and we are taking steps to minimize the flaring," Cusimano said.

Calcasieu OEP Director Dick Gremillion confirmed that Sasol experienced some flaring and said there was no shelter-in-place being issued.

A similar situation occurred in February and Gremillion then said it was "pretty standard" when starting up a unit.

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