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Explosion suspends operation of Lotte Chemical's naphtha cracking center

By Lim Chang-won Posted : March 4, 2020, 11:11 Updated : March 4, 2020, 11:11

[Courtesy of Lotte Chemical]

SEOUL -- Lotte Chemical, a major chemical company in South Korea, suspended the operation of a naphtha cracking center due to a pre-dawn explosion that left 31 people injured. The blast triggered a fire, but toxic chemicals were not discharged.

The explosion at 2:59 am on Wednesday in Lotte Chemical's plant in the southern city of Seosan occurred during the naphtha decomposition process for ethylene and propylene manufacturing. Firefighters put the fire under control in two hours.

The plant accounts for 22 percent of Lotte Chemical's total sales. A naphtha cracking plant produces basic petrochemical feedstocks like ethylene and propylene. Lotte Chemical, a unit of Lotte Group, said it would disclose a damage report later.

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