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Monday, 12 June, 2000, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
BP launches refinery review
Grangemouth
All aspects of the operation will be studied
A task force is being set up by BP Amoco to investigate the running of its Grangemouth refinery after the latest in a series of major incidents at the plant.

The oil giant says the task force will carry out a "root and branch" review of the site's equipment, operating systems and management processes.

Sixty firefighters took six hours to control a fire at the petrochemicals complex near Falkirk on Saturday morning.

Grangemouth's recent problems
29 July, 1999
Complete power failure
20 November, 1999
Problem with catalytic cracker, blow-out followed
25 November, 1999 Problem in a gas compressor, out of action for 10 days
26 January, 2000
Two boilers broken, major incident control committee on alert
29 May, 2000
Complete power failure, MICC on alert
7 June, 2000
High pressure pipe fracture, massive escape of steam
10 June, 2000
Fire in refinery unit, which took six hours to control
Four days earlier, a high-pressure steam pipe broke, causing a loud blast and sending clouds of vapour billowing into the air.

The refinery unit in which the fire broke out remains shut down and the cause is under investigation. Work on repairing the fractured pipe continues.

They will stay idle until a technical and safety audit has been completed by the review team.

The task force will be led by Rick Porter, a senior manager from BP Amoco's US refining system. Its members will be drawn from the company's worldwide businesses and independent consultants.

Grangemouth director, Susan Caito, said: "We have experienced a series of incidents which have severely damaged the plant's good record of reliability.

"This is an unacceptable situation for our employees, the community, our customers and management."

'Reputation damaged'

The task force will report to Ms Caito, who went on: "I have no doubt that we need to improve and I am confident that we will.

"I greatly regret that these incidents have quite understandably eroded the confidence of our employees and the community.

"They have the right to demand that we manage our operations quietly, efficiently and without incident.

Michael Connarty
Michael Connarty: Met management
"Our reputation has been damaged. My clear priority is to rebuild that confidence and reputation through the actions we have now set in train."

Falkirk East MP, Michael Connarty, met management on Friday and said afterwards that he had been given reassurances about their commitment to safety.

"They were promising me on Friday that they were going to do great things and had a whole plan," he said.

"On Saturday morning, we had another fault and a major fire. I'll only be satisfied when this plant has been running safely for a number of years at its full production."

He said the workforce's concerns about manning and investment levels needed to be addressed.

"Until they are satisfied, I'll not be satisfied," added Mr Connarty. "Nor should the people of the surrounding area

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See also:

10 Jun 00 | Scotland
Fire prompts fresh safety calls
10 Jun 00 | Scotland
Second emergency at BP plant
09 Jun 00 | Scotland
Refinery blast cause revealed
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