Stable post-incident operation of PKN ORLEN's Production Plant in Płock
Situation is back under control after yesterday’s leakage from the steam network pipeline at PKN ORLEN’s Production Plant in Płock. Work is now under way to safely restart some of the plant units, expected to end later this week.
Immediately after the incident, tests were made by PKN ORLEN’s environmental protection units, which did not show any pollutant levels in excess of applicable air quality standards. This means there was no threat to people living in Płock.
Because of the leakage, hydrocarbons with a wide boiling range were flared, the heaviest of which were gasolines. In the combustion process, CO, CO2, SOx and NOx were emitted, but their concentration did not pose any threat to human health. The black smoke that appeared over the Plant was only an effect of incomplete combustion. By default, when steam is fully available, it is added to disperse hydrocarbons. However, yesterday it was impossible due to the failure of the CHP plant. One employee of an external contractor was injured in the incident. Having received immediate help, he was taken to hospital and his life is not in danger. No other casualties were reported.
In addition, the incident has not caused any risk of disruption in deliveries to our customers.
PKN ORLEN has set up a dedicated committee to investigate the causes of the leakage. To recapitulate the facts: at around 4 p.m. on September 25th 2018 an incident took place on the premises of PKN ORLEN’s Production Plant in Płock, which led to a disruption in the supply of high-pressure process steam. It was caused by a leakage from the steam network of the Company’s CHP plant, which has been in operation for years. The failure had nothing to do with the CCGT unit in Płock, launched in mid-2018. In accordance with the safe shut-down procedures, some units were temporarily taken off stream because of the absence of a steam source. The situation was quickly brought under control.
After isolating the leak, the CHP plant’s steam generators were started up again to restore steam production. Once they were put back into operation, it became possible to restart the Plant’s production units which had been safely shut down. Their sequential restarting will take up to two days. During the process, the production of final products will be gradually resumed. In the petrochemical section, it was decided that maintenance work on the olefins unit, originally scheduled to begin on October 1st 2018, would begin earlier. The unit’s shutdown will not cause any inconvenience to the residents of Płock.