Chemical leakage in Konstanz Results in Hospitalizations for Several Individuals

Chemical leakage in Konstanz Results in Hospitalizations for Several Individuals

In Konstanz city, located in southern Germany, a chemical accident on Friday led to the hospitalization of several individuals who were exposed to toxic fumes, said Chemanalyst.

A total of 25 people were taken to the hospital for medical checks as they experienced respiratory tract irritation after inhaling the harmful fumes. The incident unfolded at a company specializing in fruit processing solutions, where employees detected a corrosive and toxic gas in the morning.

The hazardous gas was found to be leaking from a container situated in the company's basement. The severity of the situation was underscored by the spokesperson of the fire department, who described it as potentially "life-threatening." However, swift action by an employee, donned in protective gear, played a crucial role in mitigating the risk. Using a forklift, the employee promptly moved the container out of the building, allowing the toxic gas to disperse into a wider area outside, rather than remaining confined within the premises.

Remarkably, the employee who executed the emergency response was unharmed during the operation. Furthermore, the fire department assured that the actions taken posed no additional risk to residents in the surrounding vicinity.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the 1000-liter container contained nitric acid and Horolith, a detergent. These substances were mixed on the preceding Thursday to formulate a cleaning agent intended for boilers and were stored in the container. However, for reasons yet to be determined, the temperature within the container increased, triggering a chemical reaction. Consequently, the highly toxic gases breached the container, leaked, and disseminated, posing a significant risk to those in proximity.

The incident underscores the potential dangers associated with handling and storing hazardous chemicals. The employee's prompt and decisive actions, including the use of protective gear and the relocation of the container, played a crucial role in preventing further harm. The fact that the employee remained unharmed and that the surrounding community faced no additional risk demonstrates the importance of well-executed emergency response measures.

Authorities and emergency services will likely conduct a thorough investigation into the root causes of the chemical reaction and subsequent leak to prevent similar incidents in the future. Additionally, there may be a review of safety protocols and procedures to enhance preparedness and response capabilities in the event of similar emergencies.

The incident serves as a reminder of the need for stringent safety measures in industries that handle potentially dangerous substances. It highlights the importance of employee training, proper storage protocols, and the availability of suitable protective equipment. As the investigation unfolds, it will provide valuable insights into improving safety standards and preventing the recurrence of such incidents in the future.

We remind, over the course of 11 months in 2023, Russia has witnessed a noteworthy uptick in the production of plastics in primary forms, marking a 3.4% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. This positive trajectory is primarily fueled by heightened production levels of polyethylene (PE) and formaldehyde resins, although the recent months have seen a somewhat less substantial increase in PE, standing at 1.8%. Nevertheless, the sheer volume of PE produced, surpassing other polymers, has contributed to an overall favorable trend in the broader plastics category.

Ecolab opens plant in Vietnam

Ecolab opens plant in Vietnam

Ecolab, Inc. announced the grand opening of its new cutting-edge manufacturing plant in Ho Nai Industrial Park, near Ho Chi Minh City, said chemengonline.

This new facility demonstrates Ecolab’s continued commitment to supporting customers, innovation, and sustainability in Vietnam and throughout Southeast Asia.

The new plant has 3,000 square meters of space with an advanced laboratory, manufacturing facility and warehouse. The new facility will also provide additional local job opportunities, bringing the company’s workforce in Vietnam to more than 100 people. Ecolab supports customers in multiple industrial markets, including food service, lodging, healthcare, building facilities, food and beverage processing, manufacturing, transportation, pulp and paper, microelectronics, petrochemicals, and power generation.

We remind, Brenntag has opened a new mixing and blending facility in Vietnam, the German chemicals distributor said. The facility in Dong Nai is close to Brenntag's last mile operations, a regional tollgate with bulk storage tanks with capacities of over 21,000 cubic metres, and a jetty catering to vessels with deadweight tonnage capacity of up to 50,000, it said in a statement.

Solenis to build expanded paper chemicals facility at site in Virginia

Solenis to build expanded paper chemicals facility at site in Virginia

Solenis International LLC said yesterday it plans to invest $193 million to build a polyvinyl amine (PVAm) polymer production facility and related assets at its existing site at Suffolk, Virginia, said the company.

The expanded facility will include production, packaging, a tank farm and a rail spur. PVAm is used in paper and cardboard manufacturing.

“As demand rises for sustainable manufacturing operations, this new facility not only ensures we have capacity to supply the paper packaging market, it will also help us diversify into other applications that can drive additional growth,” said John Panichella, CEO of Solenis.

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Opportunity Fund has approved a $275,000 grant to the city of Suffolk to help with the project, Solenis said. “The company is also eligible to receive Port of Virginia tax credits and benefits from the Rail Industrial Access Program, subject to approval by the Commonwealth Transportation Board,” it added.

We remind, Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals for water-intensive industries, completed the acquisition of CedarChem LLC on October 2, 2023. As part of the acquisition, Solenis will acquire all CedarChem operating assets. Headquartered in Cedartown, Georgia, CedarChem offers a full suite of water and wastewater treatment products for industrial and municipal markets, primarily in the southeastern U.S.

Oil tankers divert from Red Sea after U.S., UK strikes in Yemen

Oil tankers divert from Red Sea after U.S., UK strikes in Yemen

At least four oil tankers have diverted course from the Red Sea since overnight strikes by the U.S. and Britain on Houthi targets in Yemen, shipping data from LSEG and Kpler showed, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The attacks were carried out from the air and sea in response to the Iranian-backed Houthi militia's attacks on ships in the Red Sea, in what is becoming a regional escalation of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

The tankers Toya, Diyyinah-I, Stolt Zulu and Navig8 Pride LHJ were all seen turning around mid-voyage in order to avoid the Red Sea between 0300 and 0730 GMT on Friday, according to ship tracking from the two companies.

One of the tankers, Toya, a very large crude carrier capable of carrying up to 2 million barrels of oil, was unladen, the data showed. The other three vessels are fuel tankers. Oil prices were up over $3 a barrel, or more than 4%, by 1144 GMT, with Brent trading above $80, amid heightened geopolitical risks.

Meanwhile, Danish oil tanker group Torm said on Friday it decided to pause all transits through the southern Red Sea.

Major container shipping companies Maersk and Hapag Lloyd welcomed measures to secure the region. But they stopped short of saying whether the U.S. and British strikes would be enough for them to return to the Suez Canal, the fastest route between Asia and Europe which accounts for about 12% of global container traffic.

We remind, Indonesia's oil and gas lifting this year is likely to fall below government targets, upstream oil and gas regulator SKK Migas said on Friday but pledged efforts to fill the gap. SKK Migas predicts lifting of oil at 596,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2024 and gas at 5,544 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) based on work plans submitted by contractors. That compares with government targets of 635,000 bpd and 5,785 mmscfd.

Bulgaria replacing Russian crude with oil from Kazakhstan, Iraq, Tunisia

Bulgaria replacing Russian crude with oil from Kazakhstan, Iraq, Tunisia

Bulgaria is replacing Russian oil imports with crude from Kazakhstan, Iraq and Tunisia in January, according to traders and LSEG data, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Bulgaria has a waiver from a European Union embargo that allows it to continue seaborne imports of Russian oil in 2024. But the country has restricted exports of all refined products produced from Russian crude from this month, which makes it almost impossible for its sole refinery to run on Russian oil, and has decided to stop all Russian crude imports from March.

Bulgaria purchases oil to feed its Burgas refinery, which has a capacity of 190,000 barrels per day (bpd) and is operated by Russia's Lukoil. Bulgaria was the fourth largest buyer of seaborne Russian oil in 2023, purchasing over 100,000 bpd.

But this month, no oil from Russia is set to reach Burgas port. As Lukoil is no longer able to supply the Burgas refinery with its own Urals oil, it has to use oil from elsewhere, raising costs at the plant.

The profitability of the plant is also affected by a 60% tax imposed by Bulgaria's government on the refinery's profits.

So far in January, Burgas is set to receive two 70,000 metric ton cargoes of Kazakhstan's KEBCO crude, one 76,000 ton cargo of Basrah Light, one 50,000 ton cargo of CPC Blend, and 33,000 tons of oil from Tunisia, according to LSEG data.

KEBCO, a Kazakh grade exported from Russian ports with the same quality as Urals, is the most likely replacement for Russian oil in Bulgaria, traders said, adding its supply is limited and its price is significantly higher than for Urals.

Burgas is designed to process Urals oil and currently can only run on sour grades, which is difficult and pricey in the EU, traders said.

We remind, TotalEnergies, a globally recognized energy corporation, recently announced a delay in the reboot of its mixed-feed ethylene cracker facility situated in Antwerp, Belgium. This facility, which boasts an annual production capacity of 580,000 metric tons, has had its restart schedule pushed to the second half of January, a move that signifies the intricate challenges inherent in such large-scale operations.