Industry News

Arkema Reports Two Explosions at its Chemical Plant

Published on 2017-09-04. Author : SpecialChem


Arkema has reported two explosions and black smoke at its flood-hit chemical plant in Crosby, Houston, Texas, and added there was a risk of further explosions at the site.

Arkema had received pre notification from The Harris County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) about two explosions and black smoke coming from the Arkema Inc. plant in Crosby, Texas. Local officials had previously established an evacuation zone in an area 1.5 miles from the plant, based on their assessment of the situation.

Arkema continues to work closely with federal, state and local authorities to manage the situation.

Followed Hurricane Preparation Plan

Arkema’s site followed its hurricane preparation plan in advance of the recent hurricane and it had redundant contingency plans in place. However, unprecedented flooding overwhelmed the primary power and two sources of emergency backup power. As a result, Arkema had lost critical refrigeration of the products on site. Some of its organic peroxides products burn if not stored at low temperature.

It has been working closely with public officials to manage the implications of this situation, and have communicated with the public the potential for product to explode and cause an intense fire. Organic peroxides are extremely flammable and, as agreed with public officials, the best course of action is to let the fire burn itself out.

Product is stored in multiple locations on the site, and a threat of additional explosion remains. Arkema urges not to return to the area within the evacuation zone until local emergency response authorities announce it is safe to do so.

Crosby, TX Plant

The Crosby, TX plant produces liquid organic peroxides that are used primarily in the production of plastic resins, polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC and polyester reinforced fiberglass, and acrylic resins.

Organic peroxides are a family of compounds that are used in a wide range of applications, such as making pharmaceuticals and construction materials.

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Source: Arkema
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