An explosion occurred at Lotte Chemical's Daesan plant. The accident, which occurred at the Naphtha Cracking Center, dubbed the flower of petrochemicals, is expected to cause production disruption. Lotte Chemical shut down seven plants, including BTX and BD plants.
Lotte Chemical, particularly, is facing a problem of insensitivity to safety as the explosion continues every year. Lotte Chemical has been under eight institutional sanctions over the past two years for safety accidents such as gas leaks and fires.
According to the fire department on March 4, an explosion occurred at 2:59 a.m. at Lotte Chemical's plant in Daesan, South Chungcheong Province. The accident caused a total of 36 casualties, including two serious injuries and 34 minor wounds. They are also known to include nearby residents.
Lotte Chemical has shut down seven plants, including BTX and BD. Six plants, including the EOA and EG, are operating normally. However, as ethylene production has been disrupted, it is expected to have a negative impact on HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE) and synthetic fiber raw materials.
The public sentiment of the community is seething. Seosan Mayor Maeng Jung-ho immediately held a press conference and demanded an official apology from Lotte Chemical over the explosion at the Daesan plant.
"Lotte Chemical should make public apologies to the public and explain measures to prevent a recurrence," Maeng said. "We need to have comprehensive safety checks on the facilities around the factory."
Lotte Chemical recorded an "earning shock" last year due to worsening profitability in major business sectors such as olefin and aromatic due to global oversupply.
On top of that, the explosion occurred, forcing Lotte Chemical to suffer from a double whammy. The company said that there are no concerns of a second explosion and that it will do its best to deal with the accident.