KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Eastman Chemical Company announced Monday that they have determined the cause of the power outage that hit the plant on July 22.

According to a release from the company, the outage was “due to a switch over to an upgraded control system software program for its largest powerhouse at the site.”

Mark Bogle, vice president and Tennessee manufacturing site leader said that the procedure requires a temporary system change associated with their boiler feedwater system. ““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.”

The company says that several actions have been taken that will prevent this event from reoccurring after a follow-up investigation. The release says that the site has regained power and completed a safe resart of the majority of its operation adding that the site is expected to return to normal operating rates later in the week.

“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,” said Bogle. “We will continue to partner with the City of Kingsport and their emergency management team to continually improve and refine our response.”

The release concludes by thanking employees for their hard work and expressing it’s gratitude for the partnership with the City of Kingsport and the community.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Eastman’s Care Line at 423-229-2273, which is available 24/7.

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