Two expert committees to probe into the incident

Our Bureau

"If the company is not able to resume full operations soon, there could be some impact on the domestic supply position"

Mumbai, Oct. 26

Reliance Industries on Thursday sought to allay fears that the fire at its Jamnagar refinery could impact its financial performance or disrupt supply of oil products.

Meanwhile, reports from Jamnagar said that one contract worker was killed and another employee was seriously injured in the fire. The injured employee is being treated in a Mumbai hospital. Both of them hail from the South, said a company source.

Human Casualty

When contacted, Reliance officials neither confirmed nor denied the death of the contract worker.

A Reliance press note, issued late in the evening, does not make any mention of the human casualty. It only said the "RIL refinery has not been shut down. There is no need for a shut down. The LPG production at the complex continues to be normal at an average production rate of over 7,000 tonnes per day."

The official statement released by the company on Wednesday mentioned only about the injured employee. The fire broke out in one of the vacuum gas oil hydrotreaters that separates sulphur from crude. The unit is one among 40 units in the sprawling Jamnagar complex.

Expert Committees

According to a news agency report, the company has set up two expert committees to probe into the incident. While one will probe the precise cause of the fire and recommend measures to avoid such incidents in the future, the second committee will come out with measures to re-start the unit at the earliest.

The company has already initiated talks with equipment manufacturers to procure equipment for replacing those that were gutted in the fire, agencies said.

The Jamnagar refinery processed 6.6 lakh barrels of crude a day, accounting for about 24 per cent of the country's total LPG consumption. "If the company is not able to resume full operations soon, there could be some impact on the domestic supply position, though there is adequate inventory at the moment," an analyst said.

Related Stories:
Fire at Reliance refinery complex at Jamnagar
Reliance refinery insured for Rs 50,000 cr

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 27, 2006)
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