The pulp plant of the company Fiber Excellence, classified Seveso 2, in Saint-Gaudens (Haute-Garonne), was shut down on Sunday after a quickly circumscribed incident, said the prefecture, specifying that "
no toxicity in the air has not been raised
Read also: Val d'Oise: the fire on a Seveso classified site has been brought under control
The black liquor boiler at the Fiber Excellence site suffered a loss of tightness on Saturday at 7.20 pm. Sodium in fusion at 950 ° C (saline) flowed out, which generated explosions of low intensity, due in particular to contact with water
”, according to the prefecture. “
Some fumes were also observed. The impact of this incident is limited inside the site,
”state services added in a press release. No casualties are to be deplored on the site located nearly 100 km south-west of Toulouse.
The boiler was immediately shut down and "
sandbags were placed near the saline heaps, in order to avoid any further contact with liquid products
In total, nearly 75 state agents were mobilized, including 60 firefighters.
The chlorine dioxide and sodium chlorate storage facilities, which classify the “
Seveso high threshold
” site, are far from the disaster area.
To read also: "The products used on the Seveso classified sites are kept secret because of the terrorist risk"
The operation of the boiler is suspended by prefectural decree.
An inspection will be carried out on Monday by the Regional Directorate for the Environment (DREAL) Occitanie.
We take this incident very seriously and are currently fully mobilized to ensure that the good control deployed during the incident continues in this closing phase
", indicated the management of the company.
The cooling of the boiler is underway and our teams are hard at work planning the cleaning and inspection operations of our facilities, which will start on Monday,
" she continued in a press release.
The equipment affected by the incident underwent major renovations in June 2019, and according to the latest inspections carried out, they comply with the required specifications
," according to management. “
Our top priority is to ensure the safety of people and equipment. No restart will take place before the necessary cleaning, inspections, repairs and tests have been completed, in close coordination with the competent authorities
, ”she continues.
Following this incident, the EELV list for regional elections expressed its concern: "
Environmentalists, we had already alerted a few weeks ago to the environmental health risks generated by this plant
This plant benefits from several exemptions for exceeding regulatory thresholds on the emission of various polluting gases.
Regarding industrial safety, the plant was recently the subject of two formal notices from the prefecture for reminder of work not carried out on time,
”according to EELV.
Read also: Classified as dangerous, Seveso industrial sites are subject to special surveillance
The boiler in which the fire occurred is the one whose power was to be increased by a transformation project subject to public inquiry, currently under investigation by the State services
", underlines the environmentalist list led by Antoine Maurice in a press release.
Another company pulp mill, located in Tarascon (Bouches-du-Rhône), has been in receivership since the fall.
This company of some 300 employees on which thousands of loggers in France depend has received only one takeover proposal, that of Canadian Paper Excellence, its shareholder since 2010.