LCY Chemical Corp (李長榮化學), which makes petrochemical products, yesterday said it had nothing to do with the explosions in Greater Kaohsiung, as its pipelines were still intact.
“The pipeline that caused the explosions has an 8-inch diameter and does not belong to LCY Chemical. LCY Chemical’s closest pipeline has a 4-inch diameter and is 10m away from the explosion site,” company spokesperson Abby Pan (潘俐霖) told a press conference in Taipei.
Pan said the company had accompanied Greater Kaohsiung’s fire bureau to investigate its pipelines after the explosions and found that its pipelines were intact.
However, the company and China General Terminal and Distribution Corp (華運倉儲), which provides warehousing and transportation of petrochemical raw materials, did encounter difficulties when they were transporting propene using underground pipelines on Thursday evening, Pan said.
The flow of propene unexpectedly stopped at 8:49pm on Thursday during transportation, and China General Terminal halted the transportation to inspect it, Pan said.
From 9:40pm to 10:10pm, China General Terminal tested the pressure in the pipelines, with results showing that the pressure was normal, Pan said.
The company resumed the transportation process at 10:10pm, but it was not successful, she said.
China General Terminal decided to stop the effort entirely at 11:35pm, while the explosion occurred at 11:57pm, Pan said.
Pan said the explosions were not likely to have been caused by propene, as city residents reported smelling possible gas leaks at 5pm, before the company had problems with its propene transportation.
Pan said LCY Chemical’s pipelines are maintained by state-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油), while King Mo Cathodic Protection Co (金茂) is responsible for protecting them against corrosion.
Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝), who is in charge of the Central Disaster Response Center, said earlier yesterday that a propene leak was likely the cause of the explosions.
Greater Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) said the city government found that the pressure of a 4-inch pipeline used for transporting propene to Ren Da Industrial Park (仁大工業區) was abnormally low between 8:40pm and 9:00pm on Thursday.
Wu said the pipeline belongs to either LCY Chemical, China Petrochemical Development Corp (中石化) — which makes caprolactam and acrylonitrile — or CPC.
China Petrochemical Development said the pressure of its propene pipelines was normal until 3:00am yesterday, while CPC denied that it was the company’s pipeline.
Shares of LCY Chemical and China Petrochemical Development slumped close to the 7 percent daily limit yesterday, closing at NT$23.25 and NT$11.40 respectively, underperforming the TAIEX, which was down 0.53 percent in Taipei trading.
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer
The number of people from Hong Kong applying for residency in Taiwan last year rose 41 percent from a year earlier to 5,858, National Immigration Agency statistics showed. The statistics also showed that 600 applications were filed by Hong Kong residents in the first quarter of this year — three times the number filed in the same period last year — with applicants apparently not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one day after it was reported that the Chinese government plans to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong, inquiries regarding immigration to Taiwan grew 10-fold, a Hong Kong-based immigration
‘BEGINNING OF THE END’: Democracy advocate Joshua Wong urged Hong Kongers to stand up and fight, and let the Chinese government know that they will not cave Hong Kong protesters yesterday battled with riot police in busy downtown areas, showing their opposition toward China’s dramatic move to crack down on dissent in the biggest demonstration since the coronavirus swept through the territory in January. Police deployed a water cannon and fired tear gas in the Causeway Bay shopping area after hundreds of protesters had gathered to oppose new national security legislation from China. Police warned the crowd they were taking part in an illegal gathering, and later said in a statement that “rioters threw umbrellas, water bottles and other objects at them.” At least 120 people were arrested,
‘TAIWAN IS SAFE’: As there have been no new local cases for 42 days, people should feel free to travel around the nation — as long as they follow disease prevention rules No new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday and only 20 of the people hospitalized after testing positive are still being treated in hospitals, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday in Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁) as he promoted a “new disease prevention lifestyle” for the nation. As yesterday was the 42nd consecutive day with no new domestic cases, and experts consider 28 consecutive days with no domestic case — the span of two incubation periods — a sign that a community is relatively safe, Taiwan is safe, said Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC),