Monday, February 22, 2010

Large explosion at Petronas plant in Labuan

There was a large explosion at the Petronas Methanol Labuan (PML)'s S1001 contolled natural gas Flare Tip that caused operations at the RM511 million methanol plant to cease today.

Eighty-two PML contract workers and 46 of its staff were working there when the explosion occurred at 11.37pm but no one was hurt.

Two fire engines from the Labuan Fire and Rescue Service and the PML rescue unit rushed to the scene and controlled the situation within 30 minutes.

Speaking at a news conference, PML production chief Mohd Kamis Abdul Manap said a detailed invesitgation will be conducted to determine the cause of the explosion.

"We will conduct a comprehensive investigation before operations can continue.

"We will identify if there was weakness in the safety aspect," said Mohd Kamis.

The PML plant was built in 1984 and its biggest customer is Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) in Kuantan, Pahang.

Other markets include Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan and China.

In 2007, two Petronas sub-contract workers were seriously burned in an explosion while carrying out works at the PML plant in Rancha-Rancha.

- Bernama

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