Seosan, South Korea – An early morning blast at Lotte Chemical’s plant in the southwestern city of Seosan has injured 31 people, according to the press.
The fire that broke out following the explosion was mostly put out by 5:12 am on 4 March, said South Korean state news agency Yonhap.
The incident, according to Yonhap, mainly involved the naphtha cracking unit of the plant, which produces butadiene, propylene and ethylene.
In a statement following the blast, Chinese consulting firm Sublime China Information (SCI) said the naphtha cracker's operations, including the butadiene production unit of the site, have been suspended as a result of the incident.
With a capacity of 150 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) the unit accounts for 11.4% of the total South Korean butadiene supply, according to SCI.
The plant, SCI added, provides butadiene to the rubber plants of LG Chemical and Kumho Petrochemical Group.
The shutdown will likely impact the export volumes of butadiene from South Korea as well as the butadiene prices in Asia and China, SCI added.