Metal burns at chemical plant

Thick black smoke billowed into the air at a Mount Maunganui chemical plant on Sunday night after metal filters in an open yard caught fire.

Fire fighters arrived at Hexion Specialty Chemicals Limited on Totara Street at about 7.30pm to battle the blaze.

It took them close to an hour to completely extinguish the fire.

Outiside Hexion Specialty Chemicals Limited on Monday morning.

Tauranga senior station officer, Mark Keller, says the metal filters were full of a flammable resin.

He says the build up of resin is formed when the filters are used to process pine tree extract into turpentine.

“The fire started in the metal filters and at this stage we think it was caused by chemical spontaneous combustion.”

The fire spread to other metal components in the yard, including a shipping container.

There was no structural fire damage to any part of the plant because it was a safe distance from buildings.

Mark says the blaze was extremely hot and because of the chemicals involved, it sent “think black smoke” into the air.

“We had to put a lot of water onto it, about 30 litres a second, just to knock the heat out of it.”

“The fire was very hot at its centre.”



Posted on 04-01-2011 19:13 | By dgk

Never thought about that plant on the other side of Tasman Quay. Don't tell those loony christians in the USA...they are very good at the fertiliser/diesel truck bomb.

A beautiful bomb

Posted on 03-01-2011 20:06 | By

Have you fools only just realised that the Southern hemispere's biggest bomb is situated at the Mount. I would love to know who allowed a fertiliser plant next to a petroleum facility and bitumen plant. PLEASE DON'T ANYONE TELL THE MUSLIMS!!!!!!!

Bit of a worry

Posted on 03-01-2011 16:19 | By dgk

With all those logs surrounding the plant, and other flammable liquid across the road, this could have been much much worse.....

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