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Belgian refinery blast kills two, shuts petrol unit

20 November 2013

An explosion at Total's Antwerp refinery in Belgium, Europe's second-largest, killed two people, forced the evacuation of the site and caused the shutdown of a gasoline producing unit on November 19. There was no fire, nor any release of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere, the French oil company said.

The explosion occurred in a steam system of a petrol producing unit, Total said. Reports say the 57,500 barrel per day (bpd) gasoline hydrotreater was shut down after the explosion.

Total said the explosion killed two employees of a subcontractor. One person earlier reported as missing has been found, a Total spokeswoman said.

"As a consequence of the explosion, a part of the installations are stopped, and the emergency plan of the refinery has been activated," Total said.

Total is investing 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion) at the 340,000 bpd refining and petrochemical complex in Antwerp to boost diesel-making capacity and cut costs, it said earlier this year.




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