People within sight of the Nova Chemicals plant at Joffre will see plenty of action on Friday, with a few small precursors beforehand.
Joffre site leader Rick Van Hemmen said on Tuesday that the Ethylene 3 plant at the plant has been shut down to replace a piece of equipment that was slowing production.
The plant had gone through a planned shutdown in June to replace another piece of equipment, said Van Hemmen. However, once the replacement was finished, a separate part in the plant’s heat exchanger developed a blockage, causing production to slow down.
There is no safety concern involved, but the malfunctioning part is not allowing the production stream to move quickly enough to meet performance criteria for the plant, he said.
“It certainly wasn’t an unexpected or crash shutdown. There’s really no major concerns from a safety perspective,” said Van Hemmen. “The surprise was in the performance of this particular piece of equipment when we came up from our last outage.”
Installation of a replacement part started on Monday and neighbours have been told to expect some minor flaring as a safety precaution as the work is completed, he said. There will be heavy flaring on Friday, when crews hope to restart the plant.
There was a short period of heavy flaring for about an hour on Monday, when the plant was shut down. Crews restarting the plant on Friday hope to limit the heavy flaring to daylight hours said Van Hemmen.