Blast on Petromidia Refinery Platform

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On July 2, an incident took place on the Petromidia refinery platform within the diesel oil refining installation (HPM).

“According to internal crisis management procedures, the technological processes within the refinery were ceased in conditions of safety,” mentioned in a statement the communication team of KMG International Group.

“At the moment, the intervention teams act to control and extinguish the fire,” the quoted document also mentions.

“The priority for us, since the beginning of the incident at Petromidia refinery, was the safety of our employees. All the staff of the Petromidia refinery were evacuated and the technological processes were stopped. Unfortunately, following the accident, 5 of our colleagues are in medical care at Constanta County Hospital. We are sorry to inform you that a person has been identified as deceased. We are together with the families of the victims in this tragic moment,” the quoted source added.

At the moment, the fire inside the HPM installation is isolated and stabilized, the internal and external teams are making efforts to extinguish it as soon as possible.

Intervention on the spot is in progress, the head of the Department of Emergency Situations (DSU), Raed Arafat, stating that there is still open flame in the area and complications could occur.

“The smoke emanations are infinitely smaller now; the flame is no longer visible. The fire is about to be extinguished,” said Constanta County Prefect Silviu Cosa. “There was a peak of NOx during 12:00-12:30. The mobile environmental laboratory has taken samples that will be analysed, but there is no reason to be alarmed. We were helped by wind that blew in a direction towards the field,” the prefect specified.

The National Meteorological Administration sent an information about the evolution of the smoke cloud in the refinery area, between 13:00 and 23:00. The cloud of smoke will move towards the sea, according to meteorologists.

Prime Minister Florin Citu asked Secretary of State Raed Arafat and the head of IGSU, Dan Iamandi, to make sure that all logistical sources needed are allocated for the situation to be under control and avoid further victims. Also, he asked the DSU head to analyse, together with the other specialists, whether it is necessary to take other safety measures, including the evacuation of people in the area.

“The situation is under control; the surroundings are not endangered. The plant where the blast took place is the area with the highest risk,” said the spokesperson of ISU Dobrogea.

Additional intervention teams were sent on the spot. Therefore, from ISU Calarasi – 2 fire trucks, from ISU Ialomita – 2 fire trucks, from ISU Tulcea – 2 fire trucks, and from ISU Braila – 2 fire trucks and one truck with 2,000 litres of fire extinguisher were sent.

“The situation is serious. (…) Access is restricted, limited, not even the commissioners of the Environmental Guard have access in the area. There is still a danger of explosion and the impact of this incident on the environment can be major”, explained Environment Minister Barna Tanczos.

“From the data we currently have, I don’t think there will be problems with fuel stocks. We also discussed with the representatives of OMV Petrom, who are in permanent contact with Petromidia officials, and they don’t expect problems either. This is the current analysis, but the effects depend on the damages that will be recorded at Petromidia refinery and for how long it will be shut down,” mentioned Energy Minister Virgil Popescu.

Petromidia is currently the largest refinery in Romania. The refinery is operated by Rompetrol Rafinare. The company is owned by KMG International (54.63% – directly and indirectly) and the Romanian State through the Ministry of Energy (44.69%).

Source: Energy Industry Review

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