Hyderabad: The Directorate of Factories of Andhra Pradesh will be seeking an explanation from the Vizag facility of the state-owned Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL), on the recent fire in the refinery-cum-petrochemical complex there, which left 24 workers dead, a senior official said on Wednesday.
According to G Bala Kishore, Director of Factories, the department is investigating into the blaze following which they will issue a notice to the facility seeking an explanation for the accident.
"Notice is yet to be served. Investigation has to be completed. We are short of details. After we come to know the facts of the case, we will issue notices," Kishore said, adding that they will also look into the safety measures undertaken by the facility.
"The nature of accident is intriguing.HPCL management will have to give us a clarification. Based on their reply to our notice, we may seek Government permission to prosecute them," the official added.
On August 23 a massive fire broke out at the sprawling HPCL complex in Vishakhapatnam, when mostly staffers from private companies were at work.
Prima facie, a gas leak in the sea cooling water system was attributed to the fire even though probe is on into the incident.
Besides Vishakhapatnam, (East Coast) with a capacity of 8.3 Million Metric Ton Per Annum (MMTPA), HPCL operates another refinery in Mumbai (West Coast) with a capacity of 6.5 MMTPA.
HPCL currently operates two major refineries producing a wide variety of petroleum fuels and specialities.
Meanwhile the Vizag Refinery which is currently operating at 50 per cent capacity after the fire mishap is expected to take some more time to scale up to full of its capacity, HPCL Executive Director VVR Narasimham said.
"The cooling tower (which caught fire) has to be
reconstructed. It will take 100 days. It has to be constructed cell by cell. After two or three cell we can partially use it. After one or two weeks only, we will come to know when we can resume production," Narasimham said.
The plant which has a capacity of 8.3 MMTPA is processing around 26,000 tons of crude per day majorly producing High Speed Diesel.
"At present we have cut short our production by 50 per cent," the HPCL executive said.
Narasimham also said they have an insurance for the production loss but could not provide details.