Clermont-Ferrand, May 26, 2021 – (FR0004177046 METEX), METabolic EXplorer (METEX), specialized in the design, development and industrialization of eco-friendly bioprocesses for the production of functional ingredients, is giving details on the origin and consequences of the event that occurred last week at its Amiens amino acid production site. As a reminder, this site is operated by its recently acquired subsidiary from the Japanese group Ajinomoto.
On Friday 21 May, at around 1pm, the breach of the manhole cover of a storage tank containing around 170 m3 of hydrochloric acid led to the rapid leakage of its contents into a retention basin. This spill caused a limited overflow in the immediate vicinity of the retention area.
In close collaboration with the authorities, employees and local residents were quickly brought to safety with the help of the fire brigade, which then led the operations to secure the site and pump out the spilled acid in order to avoid any evaporation. These operations were carried out until Friday night and enabled the evacuation of all the hydrochloric acid spilled in the retention basin and the surrounding area. The hydrochloric acid tank in question was scheduled for replacement in September 2021 in the investment plan.
5 people were taken in by the emergency services for superficial care without consequences. Aerial samples taken on the site during the entire management of the disaster showed no environmental impact.
Management would like to express its gratitude for the responsiveness and professionalism of its on-site teams, and for the effective action of the authorities and firefighters in protecting the Amiens Nord industrial zone. It deeply regrets the inconvenience suffered by the people affected on and around the site.
The company is at the disposal of the DREAL of the Somme, which came on site on Tuesday morning for an initial review. The plant’s management is also assessing the event’s impact on its facilities and operations.
As a SEVESO site, the safety of people, employees, subcontractors and local residents and the environment are our absolute priority. This assessment will take several days, at the end of which management will present an action plan providing all the necessary means to repair the damage and return to normal production as quickly as possible under perfect safety conditions. The subsidiary’s net cash position at the end of April 2021 was 19.1 million euros, enabling it to cope with this event.
This case of force majeure has led the plant management to proceed with a gradual shutdown of production between now and May 28 for a period of several days. The company is well aware of the consequences of this exceptional situation for its customers: the sales teams will work with them and their agents to inform them of the consequences of this event. At the same time, discussions will be held with employee representatives on the measures to be put in place during this period.
“The exemplary responsiveness of our teams, who alerted the authorities very early on, enabled us to deal effectively with this event. I would like to sincerely thank them for this. I would also like to express my gratitude for the efficient action of the Prefecture and the fire department. In view of this case of force majeure, we will have to temporarily stop production in the next few days in order to carry out a precise assessment of the situation and define an action plan. We will only restart production once we are certain that it will be done in optimal safety conditions.” said David Demeestere, Plant Manager.
A next update will be made on June 1st to inform our partners of the progress of our analyses and the main lines of the action plan envisaged.
About METabolic EXplorer – www.metabolic-explorer.com
Using renewable raw materials, the company develops and industrialises innovative and competitive industrial fermentation processes as alternative to petrochemical processes to meet consumers’ new societal expectations and the objectives of the energy transition. Its functional ingredients of natural origin are used in the formulation of cosmetic products, nutrition-animal health or as intermediates for the synthesis of biomaterials.
The start in progress of its first production unit, through its subsidiary METEX NØØVISTA, will bring 1.3 propanediol (PDO) and butyric acid (BA) on the market.
The acquisition of AANE, the leading European producer of amino acids for animal nutrition, enables the METEX Group to realize its ambition to become one of the world market leaders in functional ingredients produced by fermentation.
Based at the Clermont Limagne technology park, near Clermont-Ferrand, METabolic EXplorer is listed on Euronext in Paris (Compartment C, METEX) and is included in the CAC Small Index.
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