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LG Polymers moving styrene monomer from India after deadly gas leak

All News 15:52 May 14, 2020

SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- LG Polymers India, an affiliate of South Korean chemical giant LG Chem Ltd, said Thursday it has begun transporting styrene monomer in its plant and styrene tanks at a port to South Korea following a recent deadly gas leak.

Gas leaked from LG Polymers India last Thursday, killing 12 people and sickening more than a thousand near the plant in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The move is intended to "prevent and eliminate all risks factors," LG Polymers India said in a statement provided by LG Chem.

This AFP photo shows people gathering in front of the LG Polymers chemical plant in Visakhapatnam in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on May 7, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

A team of LG Chem's technical experts has arrived at LG Polymers India plant and is working closely with the Indian authorities to analyze the cause of the incident, prevent reoccurrence, and support damage recovery.

LG Polymers India said last week that its initial investigations suggested that the cause of the incident is prima facie the leaking vapor from the styrene monomer storage tank.

On Wednesday, LG Chem said it plans to ship all 13,000 tons of styrene from LG Polymers India to its plant in the South Korean industrial city of Yeosu in line with the Indian government's order.

LG Chem's plant in Yeosu, located about 455 kilometers south of Seoul, imports 170,000 tons of styrene per year.

LG Polymers India said its special task force is supporting the victims and bereaved families and visiting them at hospitals and their homes.

The company said it will continue support activities, such as supplying medical and household goods and the sanitation of homes, and working with government agencies to ensure all possible support for bereaved families and victims.

"We will soon set up specialized institutions to conduct surveys on health and environmental impacts and disclose the results transparently," the company said in the statement. "Our teams will carry out mid-to-long-term Corporate Social Responsibility projects that can contribute to the local community based on suggestions of the residents."

The LG Polymers plant, which LG Chem acquired from Hindustan Polymers in 1996, produces a wide range of polystyrene, including engineering plastic, an industrial raw material for automobiles and electronic parts.


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