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October 19, 2013

Cause of October GEUS power plant blast found

GREENVILLE — Officials with GEUS Friday released the cause for a blast earlier this month at the local electric generating plant in far north Greenville.

GEUS Power Plant Manager Kevin Warren updated the GEUS board of trustees Thursday night regarding the failure of the No. 3 boiler that released a large volume of high pressure steam.

No injuries were reported as a result of the explosion on the afternoon of Oct. 1, and there was no disruption of service to the utility.

The initial inspection by GEUS’ insurer found the failure occurred as a result of the corner tube that ruptured near the furnace. The section of tube and plate is being cut out and will be sent to a laboratory for examination to determine the cause of the failure.

Representatives of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) were on site following the incident with testing done to determine emissions. Test results found a safe level of iron oxide was all that was involved.

“Siding and insulation is currently being removed from the outside of the boiler,” Warren said. “Once completed, a scope of work will be developed for bid proposals to make repairs.”

The repairs are expected to be covered by GEUS’ property/casualty policy less the deductible.

Electricity for local use is generated at the plant, where the boilers heat water to produce steam, which in turn runs turbines, which rotate and drive the generators that produce electricity. The boilers produce steam with temperatures up to 950 degrees under as much as 1,300 pounds of pressure.

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