Fire in Belinka Perkemija without consequences for people and the environment

On Monday, May 9, a fire broke out in the production of Belinka Perkemija at Zasavska cesta 95 in Šentjakob in Ljubljana. The fire engulfed the tower with the washing line. The fire was extinguished in less then 30 minutes without any harm for employees and the environment.

Fire in the Belinka factory had no polluting impact on the environment; the production restart planned for the beginning of June

Ten days after the fire in the production of Belinka Perkemija in Šentjakob the company informs that analysis of ELMU (Jožef Stefan Institute) did not detect any pollution of air or water near the factory. The event has no negative impact on the cultivated area and produce of the local community. The company is now in the stage of eliminating the consequences of the accident and the regular refit. The production is planned to restart at the beginning of June. The investigation by the Inspectorate for the environment and spatial planning is still in process, so detecting the cause of the accident is still ongoing. Also, the evaluation of the damage has not yet been fully finalized.

After taking measurements and sampling water in the »Stokalca« stream and air in the area 400 m from the factory, the Ecological Laboratory with a Mobile Unit, part of JSI (ELMU) issued their report. No chemicals or other hazardous substances were detected in the air around the stream. The concentration of soluble substances in the air was too low to be detected by analytical instruments. The water in the stream was clean, however, with foam on the surface since the fire was extinguished with the use of firefighting biodegradable foam. The recorded parameters show that water has not been polluted with chemicals. The foam for extinguishing the fire is not toxic and will dissolve in air and light. ELME reported that firewater from the Belinka factory is not causing pollution of the Sava River. In general, ELME assesses that local pollution of the stream with technological and firewater will not have any impact on the environment in the Šentjakob area. All fire waters were safely collected in reservoirs, which caused some smell in the first days after the accident before the water was dispatched to the official collector, however, it had no impact on health and the environment. As the company is in the phase of a refit it is possible that neighbours notice normal influences of working procedures (smell, noise). The company is also performing daily monitoring of the »Stokalca« stream, including Saturdays and Sundays.

The company continues to regularly inform local communities and other stakeholders. With the help of external institutions, we are still investigating the exact cause of the accident and the material damage. We strive to establish normal operation as soon as possible and thus successfully and timely fulfill the orders of their customers.

In one of the towers in which the line for solvent washing in the production of hydrogen peroxide takes place damage occurred that caused the flashover of solvents and developed into the fire. At the time of the event there were no employees present in the production.

Authorities for protection and rescue were immediately informed about the accident while responsible units of the company started with the preventive measures to maintain the fire. Internal and external fire brigades efficiently extinguished the fire while fire waters were captured in the existing reservoirs which means that there was no spill of the environmentally hazardous substances. Firefighters from Gasilska brigada Ljubljana and voluntary fire brigades of Gasilska zveza Ljubljana sector north cooperated in the event.

No employee was injured in the accident and production processes are under control. No damage and consequences for people or environment have been detected.  The production in the solvent washing tower has been temporarily terminated therefore the supply of products in the following weeks will be limited.

In the company we cooperate with authorities in research of the cause of the fire. We make efforts to reestablish normal working conditions as soon as possible to enable continuity of the production of hydrogen peroxide. The material damage is still being assessed.  The management of the company is taking care of regular informing of the local community, business partners, media and employees about the progress of the situation.