The investigation into a fire at the Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton continues. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The investigation into a fire at the Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton continues. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Probe continues into fire at Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Aug 13, 2020

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Cape Town - The investigation into a fire at the Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton continues and it is too early to determine when the refinery will be able to resume full operations, parent company Glencore’s chief executive Ivan Glasenberg has said.

Speaking during a virtual news conference question-and-answer session that followed Glencore’s presentation of half-year results, Glasenberg said: “It’s under investigation. There will have to be repairs to the plant. We’re uncertain of exactly when the plant will come back on stream. It's too early to determine when the refinery will be able to resume full operations but we continue to import products to ensure no interruption to supply.”

A statement from Astron’s media adviser, Suzanne Pullinger, gave more detail: “The investigation into the incident is well under way, with an external lead and combined team of internal and external subject matter experts. All relevant state bodies and authorities have been engaged.”

At the same time, two employees who were injured in the fire have been discharged from hospital and are recovering at home.

Pullinger also said: “The company continues to support the families of the two employees who tragically lost their lives and all other employees who were impacted.”

When the incident occurred, chairperson of the provincial standing committee for local government Derrick America said: “I will invite the relevant safety officials and Astron management to brief us on how the issue arose, ways it can be prevented in future, and what critical lessons can be learnt for the benefit of all.”

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