MOSCOW (MRC) -- Three workers were found dead following a chemical factory explosion and fire at an industrial complex in the southern city of Yeosu, Monday, according to TheKoreaTimes with reference to firefighters.
The explosion and resultant fire occurred at 1:37 p.m. at a petrochemical manufacturing factory in the Yeosu Industrial Complex, 450 kilometers south of Seoul.
A total of seven people were working at a chemicals storage facility in the factory, and three of them were found dead in a nearby section, apparently due to the strong impact of the explosion. The other four were confirmed safe, the firefighters said.
The emergency authorities issued a Level-2 warning, which enables them to call in support, including firefighters, from other areas. But this was lifted at 5:11 p.m. after the firefighters successfully extinguished the fire.
The authorities said they are now looking into the exact causes of the accident.
We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, South Korea's GS Caltex shut its new mixed-feed cracker at Yeosu for maintenance on 27 August, 2021. This cracker resumed operations on 7 September, 2021, after the turnaround was completed. The new steam cracker, which started up around June 18, can produce 750,000 mt/year of ethylene and 410,000 mt/year of propylene.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,047,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 17% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,226,530 tonnes in January-October 2021, up by 26% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding stat-copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.