What is a turnaround?
A turnaround is a regular maintenance activity to ensure the safe and reliable operations of our site. It’s similar to the routine maintenance that we perform on our vehicles to ensure they’re running properly – you change the oil and maintain the engine, rotate the wheels and replace the tires when the treads are getting low. With an industrial turnaround, we shut down some of the units to inspect and clean them and we change out parts to ensure they will continue to perform properly.
When is the Shell Deer Park turnaround?
Maintenance work starts mid-March and will continue until mid-May and neighbors may notice increased activity at the site during this time.
What might neighbors notice during turnaround?
As with any large maintenance event, there will be an influx of extra workers at Shell Deer Park over the coming weeks to help us complete the work. We recognize that this means there will be extra traffic on the road during shift changes (6 – 8 a.m. and 5 – 6 p.m.) and we have asked our employees and contractors to respect the community as they drive to and from work.
As we shut down and restart the different pieces of equipment for the turnaround, neighbors may notice increased flaring and noise due to steam venting. The flare and steam vent are both safety devices we use to bring the equipment down and back up safely. The flare burns excess hydrocarbon that cannot be recovered or recycled – this “treatment” allows us to reduce potential emissions by at least 98%. During typical operating conditions, we generate and recycle steam to recover heat that would otherwise be wasted and use it as a clean source of power in turbines to drive pumps, compressors and other equipment. In a turnaround event, we don’t need as much steam and therefore vent the excess water vapors to the air which can result in a humming noise and produce white steam clouds near our units.
How can neighbours find out what’s happening?
As always, Shell Deer Park will post messages on East Harris County Manufactures Association’s (EHCMA) CAER Online to keep neighbors informed of these activities. Messages can be viewed on the EHCMA website or by downloading the free mobile app by searching “EHCMA CAER Online” in Apple and Google Play stores.
If you have any questions or concerns about these activities and would like to speak to someone at Shell Deer Park, please call (713) 246-7301 or email DPK-Contact-Shell-Deerpark@shell.com.