2000 IFA Chopde Kribhco Ammonia Plants – Past Accidents and Lessons Learnt

Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited, (KRIBHCO) operates a nitrogenous fertilizer complex at Hazira, in the state of Gujarat, India. It consists of two ammonia plants and four streams of urea (prilled). Each of the natural gas-based ammonia plant has a capacity of 1350 MTPD and technology is supplied by M.W. Kellogg Co., USA. Two urea plants of 2200 MTPD capacity each are based on Snamprogetti process. The plants were commissioned in Nov/Dec’1985 and are operating consistently at capacities well above 100%.
Based on the excellent production performance, on-stream days, energy consumption and reliability, KRIBHCO had implemented various modernization schemes in ammonia plants like synthesis converter retrofit and reformer revamp with a view to reduce the energy consumption and de-bottlenecking of the plants.
During the last fifteen years of operation there were a few accidents/incidents in the ammonia plants like : fire in the feed pre-heater, explosion and fire in the ammonia synthesis loop, fire steam letdown station, air compressor lube oil console and at the inlet line of synthesis compressor. Almost all the accidents resulted into a big fire and plant shut down causing loss of
production. In the first three accidents downtime was 3 to 4 weeks but there was no major injury to the human beings. The first three accidents have been described in detail in the following pages.


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