Friends & Neighbors of Shell Deer Park,
Our fall turnaround begins late-September and lasts until early-November. This turnaround will peak at approximately 600 additional workers split between day shift and night shift. We’ve already started onboarding individuals with planning, and preparation activities ongoing; the bulk of the workforce will be on site early October. We recognize any maintenance activity comes with potential impact and want to provide an overview of what our community may notice during this event. We appreciate your support and patience as we complete this event that will help the facility run safely and reliably for years to come.
What is a Turnaround?
A turnaround is a regular maintenance activity – similar to maintenance we perform to keep our vehicles running properly. Equipment is shut down, inspected, repaired or replaced, and cleaned to ensure safe and reliable operations. It is also an opportunity for us to make capital investments to improve process safety and reliability.
How will the people working during the Turnaround be protected?
We have specialized contractor partners in place who are familiar with working turnarounds and are accustomed to following our site’s safety protocols (including the use of personal protective equipment). We will leverage our Visual Onboarding Center to onboard each contractor into the site’s safety culture both in person and virtually through the use of videos in the Contractor lunch tent. The Visual Onboarding Center consists of 10 booths showcasing the most common work scenarios that occur during a turnaround and highlight the stop-work authority; the right of all workers to stop work at our site should they see unsafe acts or conditions.
What are the COVID-19 barriers in place at the site?
Since the onset of COVID-19 in March of 2020, we’ve taken numerous measures to protect our workforce and community, including telecommuting and reducing the amount of interaction across the site, while continuing to maintain the units. All employees and contractors at the site are required to attest to health screening questions upon entering the facility and comply with CDC recommended safety practices, including social distancing and the use of cloth face coverings as recommended by the CDC. The site has also increased cleaning of the facility and installed additional handwashing and hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility.
Will there be flaring and will it impact air quality?
While flaring during the turnaround is possible, it’s not expected. Regardless, we want our community to know flaring plays a key role in keeping our plant safe. Site personnel are constantly monitoring the flares to prevent smoking. Once flared, the hydrocarbon has been safely treated and potential emissions have been reduced by at least 98%. Also, as we shut down and clean units, we will monitor air quality to ensure the safety of our workers and the community.
What other impacts might come from Turnaround?
To help with traffic, we employ a number of traffic management tactics including staggering shift times to avoid peak commute hours, using multiple entrance/exit points across the site, and working with local law enforcement. The potential impact is low due to the smaller size of this turnaround.
Turnarounds also have economic benefits to the area due to workers spending time in the local community and businesses. For those out of town workers, they will rent accommodations at local hotels or bring their travel trailer and stay in nearby RV parks.
How can neighbors stay connected?
As always, we welcome feedback and questions and we can be reached at any time by calling our community hotline: 713-246-7301. In addition to fielding community calls, our Site Team Leads are out daily conducting proactive community rounds. We invite the community to engage with us on social media @ShellDeerPark on Facebook and Twitter.
Our top priority remains operating in a safe and environmentally sound manner. We are proud to be part of the Deer Park community for over 90 years and we are committed to be a good neighbor to our community for years to come. We greatly appreciate your support in the delivery of this event, as its completion will help us to maintain that commitment.
Sent by Anne Dieringer, EHCMA, on behalf of:
Shell Deer Park
Maintenance, Turnaround and Construction Manager
Shell Deer Park