On Thursday, March 3, 2016, at approx. 7:20 p.m., Healy Unit 2 experienced a fire/explosion in the plant’s coal feed system. The root cause is under investigation. There were no injuries resulting from this event.
The plant was in a start-up condition operating on oil. As the pulverized coal system was being brought online, a fire/explosion occurred inside the coal feed system, which resulted in damage to equipment and piping.
The primary piece of equipment that was damaged, and will need to be replaced, was the fan that transports pulverized coal dust from the pulverizer to the boiler. Unfortunately, this fan will need to be manufactured, which has a long-lead time before it is onsite. A rough time estimate to complete repairs is four to six months or longer, if needed.
A methodical and all-inclusive approach is being taken in the investigation of this incident, and two parallel paths are being followed:
- Identify what was damaged, purchase replacement equipment and repair existing equipment. Any additional equipment that is identified in the investigation will be reviewed and installed as necessary. Black & Veatch Engineering will be assigning a project manager to work in partnership with GVEA staff to see that all repairs are made.
- A root-cause analysis to determine the cause of the fire/explosion will be conducted by an independent third party. Recommendations resulting from the analysis will be implemented. The analysis is expected to be complete within the four-to-six-month timeframe referenced above.
A scheduled outage was planned for three months this summer to tie in the new environmental equipment. That schedule has been moved up and will start at the end of March in order to take advantage of this time off line.
GVEA is committed to the safe operation of Unit 2; therefore, the plant will not resume operation until all safety concerns regarding this event have been addressed.