Explosion Halts Indian Blender


A lube blending plant in Chhattisgarh, India, has been halted following an explosion that seriously injured one employee. Officials at Parvati Lubricants were unable to give a time frame for resuming production due to resulting legal action.

Parvati Lubricants owner Vinay Sharma told Lube Report that the incident took place due to gas formation in a storage tank during renovation; the air passage hole in the tank was blocked during welding work. Four or five laborers were engaged in the repair without proper safety precautions. As a result, one laborer, Bhola Das, has been seriously injured, and others have sustained minor injuries.

Photo: K. Venkateshwar Rao

The incident occurred as a result of gas formation in this storage tank during renovation work.

The police have booked Parvati Lubricants owners under Sections 285, 287 and 336 of the Indian Penal Code, and are waiting for the factory inspectors report before taking any further action, said Monica Pandey, inspector at the Somani Police Station. Pandey said that although the owners have produced valid documents of the establishment – including an explosives certificate, factory insurance and a pollution control certificate – the factory inspectors report will clarify whether norms of Indias Factory Act were violated.

The facility – located roughly 44 miles outside of Raipur, the states capital – is a licensed and International Organization for Standardization certified lubricant blending plant.

Parvati produces mold oil for steel mills, compound oil for rolling mills and gear oil. They supply their products to Chhattisgarh and neighboring states.

Expansion work is currently underway and is likely to be completed by May 2019. Once work is complete, the company will produce high-temperature greases and rerefined lubricants. Parvati plans to launch the new products in half-liter and one-liter packs.

The market is competitive, so we want to do something different, Sharma said. The company plans to branch out through offering smaller packs and rebranding itself. Sharma did not disclose what the companys new name will be.

The explosion has caused resentment among the locals, who have previously complained about pollution caused by the plant. Naresh Upadhyay, who is both a resident of the Chhattisgarh Housing Board colony (located 40 meters from the plant) and a local shop owner, said pollution caused by the plant has made the lives of community residents difficult. The community has complained to Pollution Control Board officials, and there have been some improvements, but the residents are urging authorities to pressure plant officials to install more sophisticated equipment to check air pollution.

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