Dalian to Consider Relocation of PX Project
   2011-08-10 12:11:41    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Jiang

Authorities in east China's Dalian city will decide whether to relocate a petrochemical project following fears of toxic spill sparked by a dike breach earlier this week.

Sea waves whipped up by tropical storm Muifa off the coast of northeast China's Liaoning Province broke a dike in the Jinshan Industrial Zone in Dalian on Monday and threatened to hit the Fujia chemical plant just 50 meters behind the dike.

The two breaches, which measured at least 20 to 30 meters long each, were later temporarily blocked, but there was still fear that the strong waves might wash away the loosely piled rocks and breach the dike again.

Trucks dumped rocks and concrete to reinforce the newly repaired parts, Xinhua News Agency said in an earlier report.

The Fujia chemical plant is a producer of paraxylene, a carcinogenic petrochemical used to create raw materials for the production of polyester film and fabrics.

Residents in nearby areas were evacuated, and plant employees transported the toxic chemicals from the tanks near the dike.

Dalian Mayor Li Wancai said at a meeting on Tuesday that the dike breaches had been blocked and no chemical spills had occurred, Xinhua reported. The government will form a team to investigate the breach incident and hold those responsible to account, Li said.

Meanwhile, plant officials will reassess the safety conditions for paraxylene production as a basis for deliberation on the project's possible relocation and as part of the government's resolve to root out environmental hazards in the city.

The paraxylene project at the Fujia chemical plant started formal production in June 2009. But a document on the website of the Ministry of Environmental Protection dated November 2010 said the project was only approved for trial production on April 2010 by the Liaoning Provincial Environmental Protection Department, the "National Business Daily" reported.

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