News release from Calumet Refinery in Shreveport:
A crack about the size of a pinhead at the bottom of the flare stack is being repaired, and while work is going on, the refinery will be shut down. "We opted to go with a controlled shut down to make the repair because the flare is such a crucial part of operations," says plant manager Tom Germany. "The tiny crack is in a weld seam in a part of the flare that makes repair difficult while the plant is running." The flare is an important piece of safety equipment for the plant. It acts much like the spout of a tea kettle to release pressure to protect vessels or pipes from unplanned upsets.
There were no emissions releases or other problems associated with the flare, but since a small hole can turn into a larger one if not repaired, the decision was made to make the repair as soon as possible.
The plant is expected to be back in production in five days. Employees will not be affected by the shutdown and will report to work as normal.