Eastman officials said a switch over to an upgraded control system software program for the largest powerhouse at the 900-acre Kingsport, Tennessee plant was the cause of the recent power outage and shutdown of production at the site July 22.
The plant has since regained power and restarted the majority of its operations. A release from the company said the site is expected to be back to normal operating rates later this week.
Eastman Vice President and Tennessee Manufacturing Leader Mark Bogle said a loss of water to the plant’s boilers to convert steam into power led to the shutdown.
“During the switchover, we unexpectedly lost all flow of the feedwater into the boilers, which automatically shut down the powerhouse,” Bogle said in a release Monday afternoon. As is industry standard, the boilers are programmed to shut down if there is not an ample supply of water. When the powerhouse shut down, we lost steam and power generation across the site, as our plant-wide systems, by design, went into safety shut down mode.”
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The release said a follow-up investigation led to several actions that will prevent the event from recurring.
The loss of power follows a January incident when a high pressure steam line failed at the plant.