Welcome to Stallard Kane Associates

Essar Oil UK Limited fined after explosion at Ellesmere Port refinery

Liverpool Crown Court heard that while there were no injuries, the blast caused internal structures to collapse; damage totalling more than £20m.

Problems started at the site during the start-up of its main distillation unit, when extremely flammable hydrocarbons were allowed to enter an unignited furnace. The heat from another furnace nearby triggered the explosion which destroyed the furnace, starting a number of fires which the Fire Service had to safely bring under control.

The incident was reported to the EU as a major accident under schedule 7 of the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 1999.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Essar Oil UK Ltd failed to take all measures necessary to prevent or mitigate a major accident. There were three key failings in this case;

  • A safety critical valve was ordered and installed incorrectly and Essar failed to correctly validate its operation
  • Essar failed to adequately assess the installation of a new safety critical trip as they failed to recognise the system had a by-pass line  which defeated the trip’s operation
  • Essar’s policy was to isolate main fuel lines to the furnace however, the hydrocarbons entered the furnace via a secondary fuel line which had not been isolated when shut down

Essar Oil (UK) Ltd of the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, Ellesmere Port, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Control of Major Hazards Regulations 1999 and was fined £1,650,000 with costs of £57,644.80.

Added: 05-04-2017
Back

Breaking News

Head Office:
First Floor Offices, 11-23 Market St.
Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
DN21 2BL

Tel: 01427 678660
 

HR and Accounts:
26/26a Hickman Street
Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
DN21 2DZ

Tel: 01427 678660
 

Hull Office:
West 1, West Dock Street
Hull HU3 4HH

Tel: 01482 534 348
 

Manchester Office:
Hyde Park House, Cartwright Street
Newton, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 4EH

Tel: 0161 367 1214
 

Birmingham Office:
2450 Regents Court The Crescent
Birmingham Business Park Solihull B37 7YE

Tel: 0121 69 59 290
 

London Office:
4th Floor, 86-90 Paul Street
London EC2A 4NE

Tel: 0207 111 0958