Fire breaks out at Stirol Ukraine ammonia plant

29 July 2014 12:55 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--A fire broke out earlier this week at an ammonia plant run by chemicals producer Stirol near the city of Gorlovka, Ukraine, a local producer source said on Tuesday.

The plant is understood to have been attacked during fighting, according to a statement issued on Monday by Ukraine Defence Minister Valeriy Heletey, and some people in the vicinity of the plant have reportedly been evacuated.

The facility is in a region of the country that has seen some clashes in the conflict between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces, and was taken offline in May this year due to security concerns.

“The production of ammonia and its derivatives, urea, AN and UAN, has been suspended [and] the ammonia reservoir has been completely emptied,” the company said at the time.

The fire is understood to have broken out around midday local time on Monday and has since been extinguished, with minor damage sustained to ammonia storage facilities, the source said.

Stirol is a subsidiary of Ostchem, which represents the nitrogen chemicals production arm of industrial conglomerate Group DF, and has not responded to requests for comment.

The ammonia pipeline from the plant has not been damaged, the source added, and nor has the pipeline in the area that transports ammonia stocks from Togliatti, in Russia’s Samara region, through to the Ukrainian port city of Yuzhny. 200,000 tonnes/month of ammonia passes through the Togliatti/Yuzhny pipeline.

On Monday Heletey warned of tragedy on a “continental scale” if conflict in and around Gorlovka were to lead to damage to the pipeline.

Additional reporting by Richard Ewing

By Tom Brown