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Electrical solutions that bridge the gulf between offshore oil rigs.
Helping power the world’s largest petro-chemical complex.
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Helping industries reduce CO2 emissions for profit.
Enhancing personnel safety and equipment reliability across a refining operation.

Beyond Oil and Gas

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Revitalizing the Canal to take larger ships and increased traffic.

Valero and Arc-Preventative Technology

Refining safety to take arc flash danger out of the operation.

Safe, dependable power is crucial in the oil and gas industry, and improving personnel and equipment safety is paramount. So when Valero sought to update its St. Charles, Louisiana refinery, reducing the risk of arc flash was a top priority. That is why they turned to Eaton.

When operations run 24/7, safety is a full-time job.


Video: How Eaton reduced the risk of arc flash for Valero.

An arc flash is an incredibly dangerous event. It can easily happen when a tool is dropped during routine maintenance, or when there is accidental contact with electrical conductors, conductive dust buildup, or corrosion. Any of these can cause an electrical arc—and the explosive release of energy where temperatures can become four times hotter than the Sun. Instantaneously.

Valero is a leading manufacturer of petrochemical products. And the St. Charles refinery is one of their most complex facilities with operations running continuously. Because motor control centers (MCCs) are routinely accessed during maintenance, it’s crucial that personnel are aware of arc flash dangers, and know how to avoid them. But Valero wanted to go further—with proven arc-preventative technology that would lower the probability of electrical shock and enhance worker safety.

FlashGard: First-of-its kind thinking from Eaton.


FlashGard MCC: FlashGard motor control centers (MCCs) incorporate industry-leading technology to enhance personnel safety and protect equipment from the dangers of arc flash. Learn more 

Working with Valero, Eaton developed a comprehensive program to install FlashGard MCCs throughout the refinery.

FlashGard is the first MCC of its kind. Unlike conventional MCCs, its design enables buckets to be disconnected and reconnected to the vertical bus with the door closed—and maintaining a closed door during maintenance operations increases operator safety. Multiple insulation and isolation features enable arc flash prevention. And Eaton’s remote-racking system allows Valero to extend the operator safety zone to a maximum of 15 feet while disconnecting or reconnecting to the vertical bus during maintenance or bucket replacement.

Fueling the future, safely and reliably.

With 285 Eaton FlashGard MCCs in place throughout the refinery, Valero's people and equipment are now extra safe and secure. Valero has also had a decrease in injury-related incidents and costs.

The heavy power capabilities and safety systems needed to fuel tomorrow’s world demand solutions today. Eaton is already there. Just ask Valero.

Additional resources


White paper

Arc-preventative MCCs enhance personnel safety, protect equipment.

arc flashes

Why arc flashes occur

Ten things you need to know about the risk of arc flash.


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