Ascend Developing Restart Plan After Power Failure Leads To Complete Shutdown, Chemical Releases

November 30, 2020

Ascend Performance Materials is currently working on a plan to restart production at their Gonzalez plant following a weekend power failure that led to chemical releases.

At 11:50 p.m. Friday, the power failed at the plant on Old Chemstrand Road, leading to an anhydrous ammonia release that last three hours and the release of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide that lasted for 33 hours.

“Although this is an unfortunate event that was out of our control, we are thankful to report that there were no injuries and no risk to our employees or the surrounding community,” Ascend’s Vice President Global Communications & External Affairs Alison Jahn told

On Monday, the company was working on a plan to restart production.

“The power outage on Friday evening was a site-wide outage caused by a failure of both the primary and back-up electricity supply systems from Ascend’s external utility supplier, Gulf Power. The outage resulted in a complete shutdown of the facility. Some aspects of our production require a phased restart; at this point we’re putting together a timeline but don’t have any additional information to share,” Jahn said. “We are currently assessing the status of our assets and are developing our restart plan.”

The power failure led to the release of 692 pounds of nitric oxide and 2,408 pounds of nitrogen dioxide from a thermal reduction unit, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The leak was stopped at 8:50 a.m. Sunday, according to FDEP.

Ascend reported that a total of 61.275 pounds of anhydrous ammonia was released, less than the 100 pounds that the company was required to report. file photo.


6 Responses to “Ascend Developing Restart Plan After Power Failure Leads To Complete Shutdown, Chemical Releases”

  1. MR REALITY on December 3rd, 2020 9:54 am

    What a contengency plan they have!!!!!

  2. Joe on December 3rd, 2020 7:26 am

    Sueb: sounds like you need to start an electrical power generation Business. You seem to how simple it is done.

  3. Ddub on December 1st, 2020 5:34 pm

    So I guess you think you can just fire up the old generator and run an entire plant?!?!!?!? Ascend has its own power house that actually sells power to gulf power. But it was down for maintenance and got the plug pulled. Nothing ascend could do. I’m sure they will lawyer up.

  4. sueb on December 1st, 2020 1:50 am

    Ascend you need a backup for the backup for the backup. You can’t rely on Gulf Power. Always have GP to bring in a generator ready to hook up when performing maintenance on main generator & just in case the 2nd generator hiccups. But you know this, right?

  5. A bit more complete info please on November 30th, 2020 12:16 pm

    Along with the 100 pound SARA Title III Reporting Quantity (RQ) threshold for ammonia anhydrous (reported as being 39 pounds under the RQ), the nitric oxide RQ is only 10 pounds (of which 692 pounds were released).

    Both of the above substances are classified as “extremely hazardous substances” under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act.

    Of interest is that the release lasted 33 hours.

  6. FDEP, OSHA, NIOSH, EPA & Mother Nature on November 30th, 2020 8:19 am

    Ssssshhhhhhh!!!!!! We are not suppose to be seeing the numbers…. OUCH!!!!!!

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