Fire at Borealis’ Stenungsund, Sweden cracker extinguished, return to operations unclear

Author: Jonathan Lopez

2020/05/10

LONDON (ICIS)--A fire at Borealis’ steam cracker in Stenungsund, Sweden, which broke out yesterday had been extinguished by Sunday morning, the Austrian polyolefins and fertilizers major said.

The fire occurred at the cracker’s compressor at 20:45 local time on Saturday (9 May) and caused no injuries.

Flaring at the site is still expected on Sunday; flaring is the practise of burning off gas released during shutdowns or restarts.

The company is providing updates for local residents on this website (in Swedish).

Borealis’ Stenungsund cracker has production capacities of 625,000 tonnes/year for ethylene and 200,000 tonne/year of propylene.

Local emergency services triggered an alarm at 21.55, recommending residents in the area to stay indoors; the alarm was lifted at 05.15 on Sunday.

“Borealis is working closely and openly with the authorities to investigate the root cause of the incident, and will take every action to prevent a similar accident from happening again,” said Borealis.

The company has not yet responded to a request for additional comment; it remains unclear how the fire affected the facilities or how long the downtime will last.

At the end of April the company lifted a force majeure at the cracker, in place for most of the month after a technical issue.

The company also produces at the site low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE).

Front page picture: Borealis' cracker in Stenungsund 
Source: Borealis