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Testing to begin on new flaring systems
09 Sep 2015
Commissioning activities will begin tomorrow on two new ammonia flaring systems, which have been installed at Orica’s Kooragang Island site.
The flares are designed to improve the site’s environmental performance by capturing and burning ammonia emissions from safety release points. This will prevent emissions from entering the environment and in turn reduce ammonia odours.
Commissioning works include leak testing the gas supply piping, purging the vent and piping systems, introducing natural gas, and lighting the pilot burners and flares.
General Manager Scott Reid said once the flares are lit, small yellow flames may be visible at the top of the stacks.
“The flames are part of normal operation and are caused by continually burning a low rate of natural gas.
“In the infrequent event that an ammonia release is diverted to a flare, the flame will become larger and burn blue. This type of flame should only be visible if a flare is activated at night.
“A third flare will be constructed during a planned shutdown of the ammonia plant in 2017,” said Mr Reid.
Flaring systems are considered best practice and are used extensively in modern plants around the world that produce and use ammonia.
The Kooragang Island flares are part of a multimillion-dollar program to improve the way ammonia is managed at the site. The program also includes upgrades to ammonia storage vessels as well as improved detection and isolation systems.
Over the past four years, Orica has invested more than $250 million delivering the largest environmental and capital upgrade in the plant’s 46-year history.
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