Explosion at Petronas oil refinery in Johor injures two

According to media reports, the explosion at the multibillion-dollar Pengerang Integrated Complex yesterday morning was triggered by a leaking gas tank. PHOTO: OFFSHORE LIFE/FACEBOOK
According to media reports, the explosion at the multibillion-dollar Pengerang Integrated Complex yesterday morning was triggered by a leaking gas tank. PHOTO: OFFSHORE LIFE/FACEBOOK

PENGERANG • Two men were injured after a fire and explosion occurred early yesterday morning at an oil refinery being developed by Malaysian national oil firm Petronas in Johor.

Petronas said the incident occurred at 1.25am at the Pengerang Integrated Complex. It said its emergency and fire response team was deployed and the fire contained within 30 minutes.

"The situation is under control and all relevant authorities have been informed," it said, adding that investigations were ongoing.

Kota Tinggi district police officer Ashmon Bajah said that the fire took place at one of the project sites within the complex.

"The Petronas (emergency and response team) received the report and deployed five fire engines with 30 firemen, and they were able to control and put out the fire at around 2.15am," he said.

"Two locals, who work as security personnel at the site, were injured and have received outpatient treatment at the Rapid Pengerang emergency centre."

He added that a joint investigation was currently under way to determine the cause of the fire.

Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a Facebook post around noon yesterday that it is closely monitoring the situation and air quality in the Republic in relation to the explosion.

It said the 24-hour PSI has been in the low-moderate range since 1am, while the one-hour PM2.5 readings remained normal. Ambient levels of volatile organic compounds along Singapore's coast also remain within safe levels.

NEA added that it is in contact with Johor's Department of Environment and will provide updates if there are changes to the situation.

Media reports suggested that the explosion was triggered by a leaking gas tank. Residents living nearby said their houses were damaged by tremors from the blast.

According to Reuters, the refinery was testing its facilities ahead of planned commercial operations later this year.

It said the complex will be anchored by Rapid, or Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development, and is Petronas' biggest domestic investment in a 50-50 joint-venture with Saudi Arabia's state-owned Saudi Aramco.

The refinery, which will process around 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day once it is fully operational, is expected to come online later this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2019, with the headline 'Explosion at Petronas oil refinery in Johor injures two'. Print Edition | Subscribe