Details of Uzbek chemical plant accident announced

Photo: Details of Uzbek chemical plant accident announced   / Uzbekistan

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, March 31
By Demir Azizov - Trend:

The Uzbek Ministry of Emergency Situations announced the details of the accident at the Ammofos - Maxam chemical plant in the city of Almalyk, which occurred in late February 2014, the ministry told Trend on March 31.

More than 3,000 tons of chemicals leaked as a result of rupture of the seam weld at a sulfuric acid storehouse of the enterprise. Some 540 tons went to the Tanachi - Buka channel, flowing into the Gizhgen channel, located one kilometer from the enterprise, through the ground water, the ministry said.

As a result of the coordinated actions of the Emergency Management Office of the Tashkent region, the Health Department and the Uzbek Center for Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision managed to minimize the consequences of the accident, according to the statement.

While analyzing the water composition in the canals, a sharp increase in heavy metals was revealed. The population was notified. Some 300 kilograms of fish caught in the channels during this time were seized and destroyed. The second analysis of water and soil, conducted by specialists on Feb. 24 has not revealed any harmful chemical elements.

A criminal case was filed.

The representative of the ministry said that the reports of some websites about regional environmental disaster as a result of the accident do not correspond to reality.

Ammofos-Maxam (before 2008 - "Ammofos") was commissioned in Uzbekistan in 1969. "Ammofos" is the largest of three chemical companies that produce phosphate fertilizers in Uzbekistan. The design capacity allows producing annually more than 338,000 tons of ammophos, 500,000 tons of sulfuric acid and 417,000 tons of phosphoric acid.

Spanish MAXAM Corp. acquired a 49 percent stake in the company for $ 18 million and investment commitments worth $ 30 million in January 2008. A package of shares worth 51 percent is state-owned. The company was renamed into "Ammofos-Maxam" in 2009.

Translated by NH
Edited by CN

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