Explosion hits Shell’s Netherlands Moerdijk plant

An investigation is under way into an explosion that took place late on June 3 at Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s Moerdijk petrochemical plant in the Netherlands.

The explosion and resulting fire occurred in a reactor of the MSPO-2 installation, which produces styrene monomer and propylene oxide, according to a series of releases from Shell Nederland Chemie BV on June 4.

The installation was temporarily out of service for routine maintenance at the time of the blast, but two employees suffered minor injuries as a result of the incident, the company said.

While the MSPO-2 installation will remain off line during the course of the investigation, other units at the Moerdijk continue to operate normally, Shell said.

Further details regarding the incident, including current production rates at the plant, were not disclosed.

With a 900,000-tonne/year ethylene production capacity, the Moerdijk plant also manufactures a range of base chemicals from the petroleum fractions naphtha, hydrowax, gas oil, and LPG from feedstock predominantly received via pipeline from Shell Nederland Raffinaderij BV’s 400,000-b/d Pernis refinery in Rotterdam.

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