Fire rips through Texas petrochemical plant

Many chemical tankers calling the US Gulf will need to make alternative plans after a huge fire ripped through a Texas petrochemical plant early Wednesday morning.

Authorities have ordered residents within a 6.4 km radius of the TPC Group petrochemical plant in Port Neches to evacuate after a series of blasts ripped through the facility.

The plant has been evacuated and all staff members have been accounted for, officials said, but the fire is proving hard to get under control.

Other neighbouring energy firms have had to cut production in the wake of the blaze.

Total has slashed production to minimum levels at its 225,500-barrel-per-day Port Arthur, Texas, oil refinery because of its proximity to there TPC site. The two facilities lie about 6 km apart.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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