Leak causes fire at Ineos' ethylene pipeline in Germany

20-Mar-08
A leak in an ethylene pipeline at Ineos' West German plant has led to a severe fire at Dormagen along with smoke. It is reported that the ethylene pipeline blaze resulted in 15 mtr high flames. The blaze has spread to a neighbouring tank of acryl nitrile, leading to an explosion. The 3,000 cubic metre tank contained acryl nitrile- a highly toxic liquid that has escaped and continues to be a potential hazard to local residents. Local residents have been advised to remain indoors, in closed spaces with windows and doors closed. The ethylene pipeline runs from Antwerp in Belgium to the Marl chemical site. The smoke emission has led to poor visibility, causing closure of the nearby Cologne-Neuss railway line (under which the ethylene pipe passes), and both directions of the A57 motorway. INEOS is assessing the full impact of a fire at its Cologne plant in Germany which has reduced capacity at one of its crackers to 60-80%. The cracker has an ethylene capacity of 660,000 tpa. However, majority of the site was operational and the acrylonitrile (ACN) and polyethylene (PE) units were running as normal rates.
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