Review launched into storage of ammonium nitrate

A review into the storage of ammonium nitrate has been launched by the owner of Grimsby and Immingham’s ports following a major explosion in Beirut.

The chemical, commonly used as a fertiliser on farms, is understood to be stored at Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Immingham site, as well as other ports managed by the company in the Humber region in Hull and Goole.

An explosion in the Lebanese capital on Tuesday killed at least 154 people, as well as injuring around 5,000 and leaving another 300,000 homeless and is believed to have been caused by improperly storing ammonium nitrate.

But ABP officials have assured residents that UK ports must meet strict regulations to ensure the substance is stored and handled safely and insisted safety is “at the core” of everything the company does.

Ammonium nitrate is understood to be stored at the ABP Port of Immingham (Image: Jon Corken/GrimsbyLive)

ABP also runs ammonium nitrate training courses for all staff involved in storing and handling the chemical.

And in the wake of the tragic events in Lebanon, a full review of ammonium nitrate storage protocols and compliance is being carried out by the company at its Humber ports.

Planning documents show hazardous substance consent was granted by North East Lincolnshire Council to ABP in 2014 for stacks of up to 1,100 tonnes of the substance to be stored at Immingham Docks, with suitable segregation between each stack and a total throughput for the site to not exceed 140,000 tonnes per year.

This was an increase from a previous permission granted in 1998 which limited stacks to 300 tonnes and it was given the green light after meeting with no objections from the Heath and Safety Executive.

After the explosion in Beirut, Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy told Hull Live he had sought assurances from ABP and police that storage procedures at the Humber ports were safe . . . .

. . . . continue reading the article on the Grimsby Telegraph website here