A major fire broke out at the Haldia Petrochemicals plant in Haldia in East Midnapore district of West Bengal on Tuesday afternoon.
The chemical factory’s internal fire system has been pressed to action, but even nearly two hours after the detection of the fire, it is still to be brought under control. The plant authorities, however, assured that there no one is trapped inside and there is very minimum possibility of any casualty.
According to officials of Haldia Petrochemicals, there some repair work was going on in the pipeline attached to the Naphtha plant when the fire broke out.
“Naptha is highly combustible and a little spark might cause fire. Generally, we clear the entire tank before any kind of repair work, but there is a possibility that some residual chemical was lying in the pipeline which caused the fire,” a senior official of HPL said.
Though the plant’s internal firefighting system has been pressed into action and help has been sought from the other factories in the nearby locality, senior officials of the plant are of the opinion that the fire will not douse until the Naptha inside the pipeline is completely burned.
“We are at present trying to arrest the fire so that it doesn’t spread to the other portions of the plant,” the official added.
In a similar incident, in September 2019 a major fire broke out at the Naphtha cracker unit of the the plant, injuring 15 people.
Established in the ’90s, Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd., often referred to as HPL, is one of the largest petrochemical companies in India, with a total capacity equivalent to 10,00,000 TPA of ethylene.
It was formed out of a joint venture between the Government of West Bengal, The Chatterjee Group, TATA Group and Indian Oil Corporation in 1994. Commercial production started in 2001.
The factory complex is located 125 km from Kolkata.
HPL is a Naphtha-based petrochemical complex with the capacity to process more than 3,50,000 TPA of polymer. Its main products are Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Benzene, Butadiene, Cyclopentane, C4 Hydrogenated (LPG), Pyrolysis Gasoline (Py Gas), Carbon Black Feedstock (CBFS) and Motor-Spirit, MTBE and Butene-1.