Naphta Leak Born

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A leak in an underground naphtha pipeline in Born, Limburg, gives specialists a lot of work. They have been preparing to seal the leak in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. The final sealing happens Wednesday in daylight, reported the fire department.

The leak in the pipeline occurred on Tuesday when workers were drilling. Two of the workers were covered with the liquid, which had to be washed off by the fire brigade. It is not known why they were drilling in the area.

Extremely flammable

The pipeline is owned by the petrochemical company Sabic. Around the hole in the pipe is now a pool of about 50 square meter in size.  Repairing the pipeline is a tough job. First the drill, which is positioned on a truck, has to be removed. Caution should be exercised, because naphtha is highly flammable.

According to the fire department residents from Born do not have to worry. "There is no risk of explosion and also the chance of ignition is extremely small," said a spokeswoman. Meanwhile, the naphtha is covered with a blanket of foam, preventing ignition.

Excavation

Once the leak is plugged, the contaminated soil has to be excavated. That could take days. Naphtha is a mixture of hydrocarbons, which is produced during the distillation of crude oil. In a cracker this mixture is transformed to useful products which are used for the production of plastics, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals.

On the industrial area Chemelot, in Geleen, there is such a naphtha cracker. The pipelines connects Sabic Geleen with the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, where the Naphtha is produced.

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