Tougher Regulations in Force for Petrochemical Facilities – Shahdaie Says

TEHRAN, July 31 (Shana) – Managing Director of National Iranian Petrochemical Company (NPC) Marzieh Shahdaie says Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh has issued a directive after Bou Ali Sina Petrochemical Plant 's fire, mandating enforcement of tougher regulations to observe safety standards.

In an interview with Shana, Shahdaie provided details of Friday fire in Bistoon Petrochemical Company's storage tank and concentrated on legal vacuums at NPC for evaluation and said per the minister's directive following fire in Bou Ali Sina Petrochemical Plant's storage tank, the NPC will have the permission to fully supervise the HSE units of petrochemical facilities.

She added that per the directive, the NPC will have the authority to monitor the HSE safety regulations' observation in all facilities, even private companies and inform them of the mandates and obligations, then bringing to their information all the measures taken in that effect.

Shahdaie said the directive, which is also the concern of the private sector, explicitly announces that if a company or collection refuses to follow the NPC mandates, the report will be given to Minister of Petroleum and the feedstock supply will hence be cut.

Shahdaie had already told Shana that after privatization, her NPC is busy with safety evaluation and firefighting affairs but unfortunately the private sector is not much willing to go on with investment in such jobs and is not aware of investment in the field.

She then said the NPC had held consultations with government and the parliament to institutionalize the regulation job and receive sovereignty exclusive authority on the hope to remove legal vacuumes.

She then switched to cause of fire in Bistoon Petrochemical Company and said most certainly, accumulation of gas inside storage tank had raise the pressure and then it was mixed with oxygen then leading to explosion. "The cause of the ignite that led to the blast is not yet known; in general, the factors have been identified but it is not clear which one has taken place."

Among other issue in discussion in sessions following the incidents had been preventive measures to prevent repetition of similar cases, said Shahdaie.

"These two incidents (Fires in Bou Ali Sina Petrochemical Plant and Bistoon Petrochemical Company) give us many warnings: We should inform heads and directors of the facilities what to observe in order not to face such dangers."

For HSE of petrochemical facilities measures should be adopted in two to three fronts: Firstly, the purchase of equipment speedily so as not to meet equipment shortage in case of similar incidents and secondly, informing all directors and facilities that they should check existence of such items as water, firefighting and foam in their facility and prevent the highly dangerous points in their facilities and see what measures they should adopt to put off fire, if any.

She also touched on her meetings with directors of all petrochemical facilities and said both short- and long-term measures should be taken, involving observation of the HSE standards and recruiting safety consultants who would conduct risk and danger studies and could identify and take necessary measures at time of danger.

Shahdaie said report on cause of Bistoon fire will be put at her disposal on Sunday and she will forward it to minister and the result will be publicized.

News Code 266066

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