kuraray


News Releases 2005

Notice : Regarding an Accident at the Okayama Plant

September 15, 2005
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

The September 9 explosion and fire in the vinyl acetate manufacturing facilities of Kuraray's Okayama Plant (Okayama City) was the cause of significant inconvenience and worry for nearby residents, Kuraray's customers, and other concerned parties. For this, Kuraray extends its sincere apologies.
The circumstances known at this time and our anticipated response are discussed below.

1. Overview of the accident

a. Accident conditions

1. Date and time of accident
Friday, September 9, 10:43 a.m. (Fire extinguished at 12:13 p.m.)
2. Circumstances
In the Okayama Plant's vinyl acetate manufacturing facilities (production capacity, 150,000 tons per year) an explosion occurred in the vicinity of the oxygen mixer. Materials leaking through a breach caused by the explosion then ignited and caused a fire.
3. Human injury
There was no human injury either within or outside of the plant.
4. Operating status
We have received an order from cognizant authorities to temporarily shut down our vinyl acetate manufacturing operations, based on the Fire Defense Law and the High Pressure Gas Safety Law. Accordingly, operations are now halted.

b. Cause of the accident

At present, we are cooperating with the cognizant authorities in their investigation.

c. Cost of damage

The book value of the damaged equipment in the vicinity of the vinyl acetate manufacturing process oxygen mixer, which is primarily electrical instrumentation, is approximately ¥100 million; we estimate a maximum cost of ¥1.0 billion to restore the facilities to operating condition.
We are preparing a forecast of what will be required to recover from the increased expenses accruing from the slowdown in operations.

2. Response

a. Measures to prevent reoccurrence

Once the causes of this accident are thoroughly identified, we will undertake a companywide review of facilities, reconfirm operating standards, conduct thorough safety education, and take other serious measures to prevent reoccurrence.

b. Product supply

To prevent effects on the supply of products that use vinyl acetate as a material, we will strive to bring these facilities back on line quickly, purchase vinyl acetate as required, and ask the entire Kuraray Group, including overseas operations, to increase production.