Explosion at Sabic jv VCM plant

16 September 1997 18:13 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (CNI)--A gas leak at the Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia VCM plant run by Sabic's joint venture Ibn Hayyan (National Plastic Company) caused an explosion Monday, injuring four employees, Sabic disclosed Tuesday.

Sabic vice chairman and managing director Ibrahim Ibn Salamah said the explosion occurred at 08.30 local time (05:30 GMT) on Monday at the VCM plant's third furnace. Three of the four injured employees had been treated and discharged from hospital and the fourth was recovering in a hospital in Al-Jubail, he said.

The damage was contained and no other facilities were affected by the explosion, Ibn Salamah added.

He said it would not affect Sabic's product supply commitments. "Normal production resumed this morning, within 24 hours of the incident taking place, at the remaining two VCM plant's furnaces with a daily output of 950 tonne, against the total of 1150 tonne prior to the accident. Continuing production and products stored at our facilities will enable Sabic to meet all its commitments," Ibn Salamah said.

Ibn Hayyan is a joint venture between Sabic (71.5%), LG Group of South Korea (15%), National Industrialization Company (NIC) of Saudi Arabia (10%) and two Saudi plastic products companies (3.5%). It was established in 1984 and came onstream in 1988 producing VCM and PVC. It now also makes PVC emulsion resins.

By Grace Williams