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Monday, April 4, 2011

Cilacap tank fire-fighting efforts going well : minister

Cilacap, C Java (ANTARA News) - Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh said fire fighting efforts at the Pertamina refinery in Cilacap, Central Java, were going well although there was a seismic disturbance.

"We will only need to extinguish the fire at Tank 31-T7. We have already islotaed Tank 104. The temperature has decreased to 29.5 centigrade while last night it was 30 centigrade," he said.

Fire fighters could now focus their attention on Tank 31-T7 as Tank 104 had been isolated.

Basically, the tanks contained certain fuel oil components, not fuel oil so the incident would not affect fuel oil production and the national fuel oil supply, he said.

A special measure was being prepared to extinguish the remaining fires.

"The measure is to install pipes in alternating nafta pump systems that will be used to pump water combined with foam to extinguish the fire," he said.

This fire fighting method would be applied as soon as the fabricating process was completed, at 14.00 local time, and it was estimated the fire would be put out within two hours, the minister said.

The minister also yet to conclude the possible indication of that incident was caused from the tank`s age, and replacing old tanks is not considered as the best solution so far.

On the other occasion the Director General of Oil and Gas, Evita Legowo said that Pertamina`s Cilacap Refinery Unit would be audited after the fire is put out.

"The durability of each tank will be checked, proper tanks distance, the distance of the tank`s complex with the refinery. But it will be done later, we will evaluate it," he said.

Pertamina`s Media Manager Dianda Pusponegoro said that currently the hydrocarbon inside tank 31-T7 is remaining 30 percent only within the tank.

"Our focus today is to deal with it (the tank 31-T7) By using a `terminator foam canon`, catapult-like `foam` thrower that have a strong ejection power reach 3,000 gallons per minute so it is expected to put out fire at tank 31-T7, "he said.

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