NEWS AND INFORMATION

Nevada OSHA Officials Propose Citations in Bango Refining NV, LLC Incident (2 April 2014)

Officials at Nevada OSHA have concluded the investigation of the explosion and fire that resulted in severe injuries to a Bango Refining NV, LLC employee.
On the morning of December 9, 2013, workers at the facility were attempting to restore flow to an asphalt recycle line that had become sluggish due to sub-zero temperatures. Several methods were employed to heat the line including application of plant steam inside the line. The use of a weed burner-style propane tank and torch for direct external heat, a method not prescribed in the company’s standard operating instructions, was also employed.
It is suspected that plant steam applied inside the frozen line was redirected into the hot asphalt tank which created steam pressure in excess of tank design. The result was the dislocation of the asphalt tank-top cover which propelled hot liquid asphalt and other combustible products into the air, raining down on the employee using the torch below. The employee dropped the lit torch, turned, and attempted to run before he into slipped and fell forward into the pooling hot asphalt. A fire ensued and all other employees were able to evacuate without injury.

CEP Licensee Heartland Settles Odor Complaint Lawsuit (6 March 2012)

The owners of a Columbus refinery have agreed to pay the state $290,000 in fines stemming from foul odors that plagued the East Side plant. Heartland Petroleum also agreed to take extra steps to keep pollutants from escaping the refinery during cleaning operations. Those were the major terms of an settlement approved yesterday by Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Harland H. Chemical Engineering Partners Inc (CEP) provided basic engineering and hydrotreating technology for this plant built in Columbus, Ohio.

Gasket Failure Causes Release of Hydrogen Sulfide Gases at CEP Customer (16 Dec 2009)

Firefighters evacuated thousands of workers from nearby office buildings after a gasket failure led to a hydrogen sulfide gas leak on Monday morning at Heartland Petroleum’s rerefining facility in Columbus, Ohio. During a re-start process, a gasket failed and a cloud of steam released. Because the steam contained hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide, the management immediately implemented a safety plan which involved evacuating the facility and notifying authorities and the neighbors. The hydrotreater from where the potentially poisonous gases leaked was designed, specified and licensed by Chemical Engineering Partners, Inc (CEP) of Irvine CA.
Sequoia does not recommend use of gasketed joints in the high-pressure loop of the hydrotreater. Sequoia has always recommended ring-type joints (RTJ) which do not include a gasket and may have prevented this type of dangerous leak.

Newark oil refinery fire burned for 90 minutes (12 May 2010)

More than 60 firefighters, including those from Fremont and Union City, were called to Evergreen Oil refinery in Newark early Wednesday to extinguish a three-alarm fire that was contained to the plant’s five-story tall heater stack. Firefighters doused the flames at the Smith Avenue complex for nearly an hour and a half before they were fully extinguished.
The blaze, which was reported about 12:45 a.m., damaged only the heater stack and did not require the plant to shutdown, said Aisha Knowles, spokeswoman for the Alameda County Fire Department. Refinery officials told firefighters during the blaze that a petroleum-based fluid appeared to catch fire inside the stack, Knowles said.
According to their website, Chemical Engineering Partners Inc (CEP) engineers provide engineering support to this plant and help optimize operation (reliability and yield improvement).
Sequoia recommends that heaters should be designed and built with fire snuffing arrangements to smother an uncontrolled fire inside a heater. It is not clear Evergreen Oil had such fire smothering provisions and if CEP recommended these as part of their responsibility toward reliability of the Newark plant.

Explosion And Fire Reported At Bay Area Oil Refinery (29 March 2011)

Fire crews are on the scene after an explosion caused a fire at a Northern California oil refinery. The two-alarm blaze occurred around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Evergreen Oil Refinery in Newark.
An on-duty plant manager told a Bay Area television station that a heat exchanger failed and caused some hydrochloric acid to be released but that it was contained to the inside of the refinery.
According to their website, Chemical Engineering Partners Inc (CEP) engineers provide engineering support to this plant and help optimize operation (reliability and yield improvement). It is unclear if CEP engineers designed any of the equipment at the Evergreen Oil plant.
According to Cal OSHA spokeswoman Chasarik, a February 2007 investigation of Evergreen Oil led to the discovery of 19 health and safety violations. Chasarik said the state agency fined the company $5,095. Newark City Manager John Becker said the city is aware of dozens of complaints from neighbors about odor issues from Evergreen Oil.

Evergreen Leak Probe Continues (25 July 2012)

A July 6 incident that caused the evacuation of approximately 70 workers at the Evergreen Oil Inc. rerefinery in Newark, Calif., remains on the radar of state regulators as a consumer advocacy group continues to urge the shutdown of the plant. According to their website, Chemical Engineering Partners Inc (CEP) engineers provide engineering support to this plant and help optimize operation (reliability and yield improvement).
Originally reported as a leak of “superheated oil,” the incident actually involved the escape of ethylene glycol, a heat transfer fluid used in the rerefining process. That triggered the emergency evacuation and prompted a warning to the community to expect a wave of “strong chemical odors” from the leak.

“PLANT CLOSURES AND BANKRUPTCIES”

CEP affiliate Evergreen Files for Chapter 11 (24 April 2013)

A California bankruptcy court Monday approved a motion by rerefiner Evergreen Oil and parent Evergreen Environmental Holdings to establish procedures to sell their assets, as part of their recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings. Evergreen Oil, along with parent and sole shareholder Evergreen Environmental Holdings, filed for Chapter 11 on April 9. A key factor cited was the cash flow impact from a March 2011 fire at its rerefinery in Newark, Calif.
According to their website, Chemical Engineering Partners Inc (CEP) engineers provide engineering support to this plant and help optimize operation (reliability and yield improvement).

CEP Customer in Finland Goes Belly-up (23 April 2014)

Finnish rerefiner L&T Recoil Oy and parent company EcoStream Ltd. filed for bankruptcy at the end of March, a former company official confirmed to Lube Report, and an estate administrator is seeking buyers for assets that include a rerefinery in Hamina, Finland.
L&T Recoil Oy and its then joint venture partner EcoStream opened a €45 million (now U.S. $62.2 million) rerefinery in 2009. With 1,200 b/d of API Group II capacity, the plant was fed by used lubricants collected within the Nordic and Baltic countries and Finland.
“It’s not a reorganization anymore – the company’s been declared bankrupt,” Petri Rautanen, formerly managing director for L&T Recoil Oy, told Lube Report last week. “Now an estate administrator is looking for new companies to run the rerefinery or parts of the rerefinery.”
Chemical Engineering Partners Inc (CEP) of Irvine CA provided the technology license to this multimillion euro facility that went bust in about 4 years since startup.

“PLANT ANNOUNCEMENTS AND THEIR PRESENT STATUS”

Several companies announce large re-refining projects with investments in 10s of millions of dollars. How many of them actually are built? The following table will provide the reader up-to-date information about re-refining facilities announced in the last 10 years.

Alabama Green Lubricants
22 Jan 2014: Lubes N Greases magazine reported that Alabama Green Lubricants has completed debt financing for it rerefining project, expected to be operational in mid-2015. Irvine CA based Chemical Engineering Partners (CEP) will provide the technology for the project.
Jan 2016: Based on search of public documents such as those for environmental permits, this project has not broken ground two years after its announcement.

VN Oil
16 May 2013: On its website Chemical Engineering Partners announced signing of a contract with VN Oil of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to design a used oil re-refinery with a feed capacity of 69000 MT/year. The VN Oil re-refinery in Vietnam is projected to start up by the end of March 2015.
Jan 2016: Based on search of public documents, it appears that this project has not broken ground, about three years after its announcement.

Hydrodec
1 Aug 2014: Hydrodec Group annoiced that it has signed an engineering and license agreement and a technical collaboration with California-based Chemical Engineering Partners (CEP). The agreement covers the engineering, planning and development for a UK lubricant oil re-refinery.
Jan 2016: Based on search of public records, not even a permit has been obtained for the proposed plant approximately one and half years after its announcement.

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