Fire at Kemaman Bitumen Company refinery injures four

Article by Amanda Doyle

A FIRE at the Kemaman Bitumen Company (KBC) refinery in Malaysia has destroyed two crude oil tanks and injured four people.

Over 100 firefighters were involved in battling the blaze, which broke out at 18:15 local time on Thursday 5 July and was extinguished at 18:40 on Saturday 7 July. The fire destroyed two crude oil tanks and damaged a third. The three affected tanks contained about 20,000 L of oil.

According to local news reports, at least four people were injured, including a contract worker who suffered severe burns.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, and a special task force will be set up to investigate the fire, according to the director of the State Fire and Rescue Department, Azlimin Mat Noor.

Sanjay Groover, CEO of KBC, told the Malay Mail: “This area has six tanks, of which only two tanks were completely gutted by the fire, while the third was partially affected. We will get a certified expert to check on the safety aspects of the remaining tanks in the area and also the pipelines nearby.” 

KBC is a subsidiary of the Tipco Asphalt group of companies and the refinery is capable of producing 50,000 bbl/d. It is designed to process heavy naphthenic crude oils and produces naphthenic asphalt, atmospheric gas oil, vacuum gas oil, and naphtha.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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