Russian oil and chemicals group Lukoil has admitted that 18 employees suffered injuries in the latest fire to occur at its incident-prone Stavrolen polyolefins complex at Budennovsk in southern Russia.
It took the company three days to fully extinguish the blaze which broke out on 26 February when hydrocarbons caught fire in the gas separation unit of the site’s ethylene plant, it said.
Production at the site is suspended pending a report on the incident by official investigators. Only once this is complete will it be clear when the plant will operate again.
Lukoil said earlier this month all the injured were out of danger. Four were in hospital in Budennovsk while three others were being treated at “medical institutions” in Moscow. A further six workers were recuperating at home and five with minor injuries had returned to work.
Each of the injured is to receive compensation of a little over €1,000. In addition, the Stavrolen facility was due to submit relevant documents to the insurance company OAO Kapital Strakhovaniye to settle the issue of additional compensation payments under a voluntary occupational injury insurance agreement, according to the group.
Moscow-based Lukoil immediately suspended all production at Stavrolen and is preparing to carry out necessary repairs following the blaze. A commission led by a representative of Rostekhnadzor, the Russian Technical Supervisory Authority is continuing to investigate the incident and extent of the resulting damage.
Lukoil stressed that the incident, the third fire or explosion reported at Stavrolen complex since 2008, had not resulted in any oil spill or land contamination. The fire did not pose any threat to the environment nor to the health of group employees nor the Budennovsk population.
Lukoil’s Stavrolen complex is one of Russia’s biggest petrochemical sites with 300,000 tpa high density polyethylene and 120,000 tpa PP capacities.