SEOUL May 22 Samsung Total Petrochemicals Co
Ltd said on Thursday a small quantity of a petrochemical product
leaked into the sea from a newly-built paraxylene plant in South
Korea but had been cleaned up.
Some 2.4 kilolitres of para di ethyl benzene leaked while
flowing to test pipelines of the new plant at the company's
Daesan petrochemical complex, a company spokesman said. The
complex is located in the city of Seosan, 85 kilometres
southwest of Seoul.
"The leak occurred during testing the new paraxylene plant,
and the clean-up has already been completed," the spokesman
The joint venture between Samsung group and France's Total
SA is now looking into the causes of the leak, he
The new plant has an annual production capacity of 1 million
tons of paraxylene and 420,000 tons of benzene. Paraxylene is
the raw material for polyester, while benzene is used in
petrochemical products such as styrene.
With the completion of the plant and upgrades of existing
paraxylene capacity, Samsung Total will have 1.76 million tons
of total annual paraxylene capacity this year as the new plant
is seen starting commercial production in June or July.
South Korea, the world's fifth-largest crude oil importer,
has seen several oil leaks over the past year. Its third-largest
refiner S-Oil Corp said in April about 20,000
barrels of crude oil had leaked from a storage tank at its Onsan
refinery at Ulsan.
Earlier this year, No.2 Korean refiner GS Caltex Corp leaked
164,000 litres of oil off South Korea's southern coast as the
result of an accident.
And in November 2013, a small amount of oil leaked into the
sea east of South Korea from a cracked pipeline run by the
country's top refiner, SK Energy, which is owned by SK
(Additional reporting by Jane Chung; Reporting by Meeyoung Cho;
Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)