Eastman releases cause of power outage at Kingsport site

Published 4:34 pm Monday, August 1, 2022

KINGSPORT — The July 22 power outage at Eastman’s Kingsport site was due to a switch over to an upgraded control system software program for its largest powerhouse at the site according to an announcement made on Monday, Aug. 1.
“This procedure requires a temporary system change associated with our boiler feedwater system,” said Mark Bogle, vice president and Tennessee manufacturing site leader. “The site feeds water into the boilers in the powerhouse to create steam for much of the plant. During the switch over, we unexpectedly lost all flow of the feedwater into the boilers, which automatically shut down the powerhouse. 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.”
According to the release, the follow-up investigation has led to several actions that will prevent recurrence of this event as we continue to invest in our Kingsport plant. The site has regained power and has completed the safe restart of the majority of its operations. The site is expected to be back to normal operating rates later this week.
As per our procedures, we established immediate communication with Kingsport city officials and followed all processes outlined within those procedures for notifications to the community through the city’s new communication systems.
“We saw improvements in communication during this incident that were made with our own internal notification processes and the City of Kingsport’s processes following the January steam line event,” Bogle continued. “We will continue to partner with the City of Kingsport and their emergency management team to continually improve and refine our response.”
We appreciate the hard work of our employees to safely shut down and restart operations and are grateful for the partnership with the City of Kingsport and our community. As a reminder, if the community has questions or concerns, Eastman’s Care Line is available 24/7 at 423-229-2273 (CARE).

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