Zanganeh:

Mahshahr petchem complex to resume activity within weeks

News ID: 3708119 -
TEHRAN, Jul. 09 (MNA) – Iran's oil minister said Bu Ali Sina Petrochemical plant, which was hit by fire, will resume work in coming weeks.

Bijan Zanganeh made the remarks on Saturday morning once the fire was extinguished as 2001C tank of the country’s Bu Ali Sina Petrochemical Complex in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

"The plant will start over regular activities within the next few weeks," underlined the official adding "however, returning to normal conditions for paraxylene tower will require a longer period of time."

Fire first hit the Bu Ali Sina complex on Wednesday July 6 and it was reignited after being controlled in the first few hours.

"Fortunately, the firefigting team had a highly professional and systematic performance by first extinguishing the blaze at paraxylene tower before putting out the fire at two tanks in the complex containing hydrocarbon soon after the crisis," Zanganeh continued.

Stating that the 2001C tank of Bu Ali complex has extremely tough conditions causing several failed attempts in suppressing the blaze, the Iranian oil minister noted "transferring the materials contained by the tank was put on the agenda which was accomplished correctly."

The official further pointed to the failure of the operation carried out on Friday afternoon saying "the attempt was inconclusive due to intensity of the fire though the mission was done more easily after reduction of hydrocarbons in the reservoir."

He outlined the cooling of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), benzene and petroleum naphtha tanks as the most important part of the battle to control the blaze; "the cooling of tanks in order to keep temperature and pressure low proved to be a difficult task which was successfully achieved with the assistance of the personnel from Bu Ali Sina Petrochemical Complex, Shahid Tondgooian Petrochemical Company, Bandar Imam Petrochemical Complex, the National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC), Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO), as well as Khuzestan provincial governor’s office."

Zanganeh said all efforts yielded results today early in the morning as the fire was completely contained; "foaming and cooling of the tank is still going on in the petrochemical complex in order to prevent repetition of the fire chain."

The Iranian minister of oil expressed gratitude towards his colleagues for successful accomplishment of the major and significant national project.

Bijan Zanganeh stressed that the country's national resources were finally saved after several stressful days underscoring "the reasons and caused of the incident will be fully investigated in order to make up for our operational difficulties."

He had earlier rejected the possibility of sabotage or terrorist attack in the Iranian petrochemical plant assigning the eruption to technical issues.

No causalities have been reported for the fire incident though financial losses have reached to about 200 million dollars due to severe damage in various parts including the process tower of the complex, naphtha storage tanks, pipelines and connections, as well as thousand barrels of naphtha as a scarce and strategic by-product of oil.

Covering an area of 36 hectares in the northwest of the Persian Gulf in Khuzestan province, Bu Ali Sina Petrochemical complex is situated in Mahshahr Special Economic Zone.

The plant is owned by Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC) produces 1.75 million ton per year of aromatics and by-products.

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