MOSCOW (Jan. 3, 12:20 p.m. ET) — A fire at the Stavrolen petrochemicals complex of the Lukoil group, Russia's second-largest oil producer, in mid-December is set to affect Russian market supplies of polyethylene and polypropylene.
The blaze, the site's second major accident in just over three years, left eight workers injured, one of them in a grave condition. In 2008, an explosion and fire in the PP plant at the same Lukoil site killed three employees and left three more with severe burns.
In the latest Stavrolen incident, fire broke out on Dec. 15 at a gas separation unit of the ethylene production plant in Budyennovsk in Russia's southern Stavropol region. Lukoil announced the blaze was contained within two hours, but it was almost two days before the outbreak was finally fully brought under control.
In the incident, an explosion and fire seriously damaged the ethylene distribution unit and, in a preliminary statement, the company said it expected to shut down production of high density polyethylene and polypropylene at the Stavrolen site until at least March.
Reports suggest that the cost of the incident could amount to nearly 20 million euros.
Stavrolen is one of the biggest petrochemical producers in Russia with an HDPE capacity of 300,000 metric tons per year and PP capacity of 120,000 metric tons per year.