IFC officials say Monday flares were scheduled start-ups

Residents near the Wever Iowa Fertilizer plant reported large bursts of flame Monday evening, but company officials said the flames were just part of a normal start-up. Courtesy photo

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

WEVER – Videos of a large flames on the property of the Iowa Fertilizer plant on Monday, surfaced on social media Tuesday morning.

Company offiicals said the flares were part of normal start-up operations after the plant had a shutdown during the day.

Iowa Fertilizer Co., released a statement yesterday from facility manager Darrell Allman about the incident.

“Yesterday evening, Iowa Fertilizer Company conducted a normal start up of its facility following a short shutdown. The start up was initiated and completed safely without incident. While a local resident posted a video online that prompted several questions, we want to assure the community that the Iowa Fertilizer plant continues to operate safely and the natural gas flare is a normal part of our plant startup process. There was no uncontrolled fire.

When the plant began startup measures two years ago, officials said flaring would be seen due to the combination of natural gas and hydrogen and the occurrence was a normal part of plant start-ups.

Jesse Harris, a spokesman for Iowa Fertilizer said the video is natural gas venting.
“What you are seeing in the video is natural gas venting and burning in our flare stack and it’s a normal part of the start up process. Natural gas is not vented and burned in this stack during normal production operation,” he said.
“The flame may look bigger and brighter than usual because of the low-level clouds, the steam from the cooling tower, wind direction, and that this was the heaviest point of the flare. Also, the fact that the start up was completed at night rather than day certainly makes it appear brighter than usual. But again, this startup was normal, safe and without incident.”

 

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