Fire Shuts Indian Blending Plant


A fire at an Atma Lubricants & Specialities Ltd. manufacturing unit in southern Indias Andhra Pradesh state last Wednesday was quickly contained. It caused no injuries but destroyed raw materials and equipment.

Atma Lubricants, based in the Autonagar industrial district of Vijayawada city, manufactures and sells automotive and industrial lubricants, greases and specialty and process oils.

The fire at Atma Lubricants started in the early morning of Aug. 2, K. Srinivasa Rao, an Autonagar fire department station officer, told Lube Report Asia. We controlled the fire within two hours with six vehicles.

D. Niranjan Reddy, a district fire department officer, said the incident occurred at around 6:45 am in the first floor processing unit. Around 1,000 liters of base oil kept in drums and about 200 liters of base oils stored in production equipment was lost. Grease kept in open drums was damaged, along with packing materials and lithium hydroxide, which is used as thickener in grease formulations. Part of the buildings structure was damaged as well.

An electric short circuit may have sparked the fire, officials said, but a fire department investigation is under way. The cause is not known yet, Atmas Managing Director M.V.V. Satyanarayana told Lube Report Asia. He noted that the unit has capacity to produce two metric tons of grease per year.

Satyanarayana said the company has two detached buildings, and there was no damage to packing equipment. The value of the stock loss could be around Rs 30 lakh (Rs 3 million, or U.S. $47,000), but the exact amount of loss and construction damage is yet to be assessed, he added.

If construction is repairable, then we should be able to [restart] operations in 10 to 15 days, Satyanarayana noted. However, if the building must be demolished [and rebuilt], then it will take some time.

Photo: Andhra Pradesh Fire Services Department

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