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Natural gas compressor explosion

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  • Natural gas compressor explosion

    A natural gas explosion outside the Pierce Transit administration building ignited flames and released big plumes of smoke seen for miles late Monday afternoon.

    Looks like this is a Clean Energy station.
    Last edited by tomdotstar; 03-01-2011, 07:18 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Natural gas compressor explosion

    Pierce has been in CNG for a long time and had a good set up from what I saw several years ago. I'll be waiting for the investigation results



    • #3
      Re: Natural gas compressor explosion

      This is the CE station I use to fill my GX. It is a real mess. I went to the CE statino at SEA-TAC airoprt to fill up this AM and there were about 50 Pierce County busses lined up to fill. The CE folks said they would try to keep 1 pump open for airport vehicles and the public. Will post more when I hear something.



      • #4
        Re: Natural gas compressor explosion

        An update on the Tacoma - Pierce county transit refueling outage.


        • #5
          Lakewood investigation looking into station design

          I was in Dallas, TX last week talking with MICRO-DESIGN about purchasing fast fill station equipment to improve fueling access in Oregon. When I asked what may have caused the Pierce Transit fueling station explosion, their response was in line with the recent news update below:

          Cause of Pierce Transit CNG Explosion Still Under Investigation By Steve Fetbrandt May 16, 2011
          ...Jessyn Farrell, spokeswoman for the public-transportation agency...said the investigation has taken months because it is being done in stages...“It’s a complex system...It’s all CNG piping and infrastructure and a lot of it is automated and computer-managed equipment. There’s a (software) programming element that needs to be analyzed. There’s also the question of whether it was a design issue. There’s just a whole host of elements that need to be looked at.”
          Farrell said Pierce Transit will not rebuild its fueling station until it knows definitively what happened.
          Read more


          • #6
            Re: Lakewood investigation looking into station design

            I would think if I was in charge. I would try to rent or buy a skid mounted compresser and drop it next to the gas line and run gas and power to it and be up in a day or two we do this when we have a boiler go down just rent one and tie it in to the header and feed pumps and fuel and you are up in just a day or two have done them in less than 8 hours from the phone call to making steam


            • #7
              Constant flow of Pierce Transit buses still filling at Seatac CLEAN ENERGY weeknites

              I'm guessing the bus drivers are spending an hour to drive north from Lakewood to fill. I was turning around following my drive north from California 25-30 Sep 2011 in my 2004 GX fueling in Oakland, Vacaville, Chico, Medford, Portland area, Clean N Green Fuel (Seattle) -- and on the return -- Seatac, Portland area, Roseburg, Medford, Chico, and Vacaville. Yes, I broke a number of rules, but I was testing the range of the Honda to determine the best location near Salem for a public fill station in the works. More on this later. The fill at Seatac was 2600 psi off of the 3600 psi hose due to all of the buses. Only three cylindrical tanks in the storage bank at this station that I could see. It was 10pm on a Wednesday.


              • #8
                Re: Constant flow of Pierce Transit buses still filling at Seatac CLEAN ENERGY weekni

                I attended a CNG fueling station training course in San Ramon, CA 25-26 Sep 2011. In a discussion during a break, it was claimed that the Pierce Transit compressor setup did not have a drier which allowed moisture into the storage tanks which resulted in stress corrosion leading to tank rupture. I would not pass this along except that it would be possible to verify these specific claims. Two other links follow:


                The tank rupture explanation conflicts with the above link, which was published the day of the explosion on 28Feb2011, which ruled out "foul play" and pointed to "...blast, which stemmed from the natural gas compressor mechanical space that is operated automatically...the explosion may have left one or two of the compressors still intact...The building that exploded is about 15 feet wide, 25 feet long and 10 to 12 feet tall"


                Jessyn Farrell, spokeswoman for the public-transportation agency, said the Washington State Transit Insurance Pool, Pierce Transit’s self-funded insurance provider, hired a CNG facility expert to investigate the cause of the Feb. 28 incidcent. The consultant is still analyzing test results, she said...Pierce County Fire District 3 officials investigated the incident and determined early on that arson and other foul-play were not involved. “It’s looking very much like it’s a design or construction thing, or possibly something related to the building itself,” Farrell said...“It’s a system issue and that’s what really trying to get good with.” The Feb. 28 explosion at 3701 96th Street SW, Lakewood, destroyed three of the five fueling bays and took two others offline.


                • #9
                  Pierce Transit time/cost details for station rebuild

                  Lakewood WA CNG station status found in Pierce Transit board minutes -- not yet in any press releases or news publicity:

                  http://www dot dot htm

                  PIERCE TRANSIT BOARD MEETING Oct 10, 2011
                  Facilities Maintenance Manager Larry McCarthy said the CNG explosion
                  incident investigation is still on going. Full access for repairs to the site could occur around the first or middle of May. We have received authority from WSTIP (Washington State Transit Insurance Pool) to start the release of funds to purchase the long-lead items, such as storage bottles, and to get in line for the new CNG compressor. Fuel bottles cost about $300,000 each and the compressor will cost $600,000. Fuel bottles are usually ordered up to a year in advance, however Clean Energy has found some bottles they will sell to us immediately. The first phase, which is a temporary fix, will get the remaining two CNG compressors functional and restore some capacity for fueling on Base. The second phase will add a third CNG compressor and would be the permanent solution. The first phase may be completed by July 2011, and the second phase would be completed near the end of this year or early 2012. This is a very rough time estimate. [Note-both dates are past due]

                  PIERCE TRANSIT BOARD MEETING Nov 14, 2011
                  TITLE: Ratification of Contracts Awarded Under the CNG Station Emergency Declaration
                  2011 Proposed Budget Amount $3,208,274
                  In order to bring the station back on line as quickly as possible, staff has awarded several contracts:
                  a) CNG Storage Vessel Assembly – Purchased from Clean Energy for the amount of $326,260.50, consisting of a cascade of nine (9) storage vessels. Clean Energy was the only firm able to supply a system with the capacity required with the best lead time available. This equipment has been received and is being stored at Pierce Transit pending reconstruction of the facility.
                  b) A/E Services for Design of the CNG Fueling Station – Contract was awarded to Marathon Technical Services for the original amount of $213,907. Marathon Technical Services was already on site providing forensic engineering services for our insurance carrier.
                  c) Major Equipment – Purchased from ANGI Energy Systems, consisting of a new Compressor to match existing Compressors No. 4 and 5 at $505,404; a Master Control Panel, Remote Valve Panels and Buffer Storage Valve Panels at $176,228; and a Gas Dryer at $229,041 including commissioning, training and tax for a total contract of $910,673. ANGI was the supplier for compressors 4 and 5 and was the only firm able to supply matching equipment.
                  d) Construction – Awarded to EFS West for the low bid of $1,435,833.74 including tax.
                  ALTERNATIVES: There is no real alternative. These contracts have been awarded under the emergency declaration and the CNG Station must be rebuilt to restore onsite fueling for our fleet.
                  __________________________________________________ __

                  PIERCE TRANSIT BOARD MEETING Dec 12, 2011
                  2011 Continuing Budget Amount Required Increase
                  EXPLANATION: The amendment increases the operating budget for fuel expenses resulting from increased Sound Transit service and the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station explosion. Funds are available from reserves and Sound Transit reimbursement. Insurance will reimburse for allowable expenditures at a later date.
                  ...the fueling station remains out of service...


                  • #10
                    Chesapeake Energy December 2011 Investor Report maps Green Highway

                    Looks like Seatac will be a LNG station. The Oregon LNG stations to be completed by Sep 2012 on the AMERICAS GREEN HIGHWAY MAP are in Medford, Portland, and Hermiston (near Pasco, WA). Truthfully, I didn't know Hermiston was a major city. But the station would be "in Oregon" and on "I84" and, it would seem, at the junction with "I82" to Yakima.


                    Some details from the Chesapeake report (AMERICA'S GREEN HIGHWAY MAP for 2011 2012 are on pages 43-44) are pasted below (CLNE is CLEAN ENERGY:

                    CLNE will use CHK’s $150 million investment, plus $150 million from CHK friends
                    Temasek/Seatown/RRJ, to accelerate its build-out of LNG fueling infrastructure for heavy-duty
                    trucks at truck stops across interstate highways in the U.S., thereby creating the foundation for
                    “America’s Natural Gas Highway System”

                    These two investments are projected to help underwrite 250 - 300 LNG truck fueling stations,
                    increasing by more than 20-fold the number of publicly accessible LNG fueling stations and
                    providing a foundational grid for heavy-duty trucks to have ready access to cleaner and more
                    affordable American natural gas fuel along major interstate highway corridors
                    CHK believes $1.5 - 2.0 billion of LNG truck fueling stations (1,000 – 1,250) puts entire heavy
                    truck fuel demand market in reach for natural gas substitution
                    Focused development along busiest truck routes Deploy stations every 250 - 300 miles
                    Clear line of sight on CLNE’s first 90 stations creates interstate coverage coast-to-
                    coast and border-to-border LNG is Cheaper, Cleaner, American & Abundant


                    • #11
                      New Port of Seattle CNG station

                      Sound Transit (ST) is under contract to Pierce Transit to provide intercity routes. A ST driver confirmed today that:

                      Pierce Transit is not fueling as many CNG buses at Seatac (an hour run each way from Tacoma) now because they were able to find diesel substitutes to use until their Lakewood CNG station is restored to operation.

                      The Clean Energy Seatac CNG station (4 dispensers/6 storage tubes) is and will continue to be operational.

                      The new Port of Seattle CNG station immediately adjacent to CE's Seatac station (3 IMW compressors/4 dispensers/12 storage tubes/bus wash facility) is planned to enter service this year for rental car shuttles from the airport.


                      • #12
                        Re: New Port of Seattle CNG station

                        So was the "root cause" of original post being Seattle explosion at Pierce Transit bldg in March 2011 finally resolved??

                        Was it indeed internal rust (due to moisture since no dryer) and catastrophic failure of tank storage??

                        At minimum, need to start getting proper news as one article said "compressor expoded" and other said "gas line explosion" . . . when it likely was instead storage tank explosion.
                        Last edited by KSneedsCNG; 01-28-2012, 07:45 PM.


                        • #13
                          Re: New Port of Seattle CNG station

                          The prior transit board meeting posts only say:

                          PIERCE TRANSIT BOARD MEETING Oct 10, 2011
                          ... Facilities Maintenance Manager Larry McCarthy said the CNG explosion incident investigation is still on going...Marathon Technical Services was already on site providing forensic engineering services for our insurance carrier.

                          And, when I talked to the SOUND TRANSIT Bus Driver 27 Jan 2012, he asked if the BOARD vote for service cutbacks/layoffs the night before may have had something to do with it. I told him foul play had been reported to have been ruled out early on by fire investigators. Upcoming Board minutes should eventually make notice of a report when it comes out.


                          • #14
                            Re: New Port of Seattle CNG station


                            The overall Rental Car Facility (RCF) project also includes off-site roadway improvements, a bus maintenance facility, a CNG refueling station for the buses, enhancements at the Main Terminal for the buses and the purchase of the 29-vehicle consolidated busing fleet. Opening planned for March 2012.

                            The existing public CLEAN ENERGY station is immediately adjacent to this new station.


                            • #15
                              PIERCE TRANSIT to be fueling buses by mid-to-late March

                              PIERCE TRANSIT MEETING MINUTES 13 Feb13 2012 BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

                              ... Facilities Maintenance Manager Larry McCarty gave an update on the CNG Fueling Station. He said construction was still in progress but there with some setbacks from which they are still recovering. He expects to be fueling buses on-site by mid-to-late march. And, the entire project should be completed within the 150 days, mid-to-late April.