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Uncontrolled shutdown at Shell Convent Plant after transformer explosion

Flaring and excessive black smoke pouring into the night sky after explosion and uncontrolled shutdown

By Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief: Sep 26, 2017

Around 8 p.m. on Tuesday night a huge flash could be seen in the sky in the direction of the St. James Motiva plant on Highway 44 and Highway 70.

Many people shared sightings of the explosion on social media. The St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office has stated that a transformer exploded, causing an electrical fire at an Entergy substation near the plant.

The substation is the main electrical source for the plant, commonly called Motiva. Entergy has reached out to clarify that the transformer is owned by the Shell Convent Refinery.

“We will be working with them to conduct a root cause analysis,” reads a statement from Michael Burns of Entergy.

The event prompted an uncontrolled shutdown at the Shell plant. The report also claims no injuries and no off-site impact. That is, unless you noticed the flaring and excessive black smoke pouring into the night sky.

“The community will notice elevated flaring during this process,” reads a statement from the plant.

Furthermore, Shell stated that immediately after the explosion they initiated their emergency response plan, deploying personnel to respond quickly.


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