Vishakhapatnam Current Affairs - 2020

Vizag Gas Tragedy leaked Styrene Gas

Styrene Gas leaked from LG Polymers Plant in Vishakhapatnam. The tragedy claimed eight lives.

What is a Styrene gas?

Styrene is a chemical compound identified as neuro-toxins. It is also known as Vinyl Benzene, Ethyl Benzene and Phenyl Benzene. Styrene Gas is colourless and odourless. The gas spreads in air very quickly.

Styrene gas is generally used in the making fan cupa, fan blades and other cutlery. It is also used in making containers where cosmetic products are stored.

Health Impacts

The Styrene gas affects respiratory system. It causes chest congestion, gasping, air hunger and wheezing. It slowly paralyses the lung muscles causing complete respiratory paralysis. This leads to death due to oxygen deprivation.

Death occurs within 10 minutes of continuous exposure to concentrate Styrene gas.

The Tragedy

The Styrene Gas leak from a South Korean electronics giant LG has claimed lives of at least 11 people and affected more than 1000 residents. The plant was located about 15 km from the coastal city of Vizag.

The changes in temperature inside a storage tank resulted in leak. Around 5 villages were affected due to the leak.

First Ship load of Crude Oil reaches India

On April 13, 2020, the first crude oil of 1 million barrels from UAE have reached India. The oil prices have declined by 60% since January, 2020. The prices are expected to rise with OPEC and Russia have come to terms to cut their production by 10%. Hence, this is the right time to fill in oil storages.

India’s oil reserves

India has an emergency storage of 5.33 million tonnes. This would suffice the oil demands of the country for 9.5 days. The oil reserves are stored in Mangalore, PAdur and Vishkhapatnam. The Padur oil storage is the biggest of all the three storages. It can store 17 million barrels (2.5 million tonnes).

Financial requirements

The Government of India had set aside Rs 700 crores for oil alone. It needs Rs 2,000 crore more to buy 15 million barrels.

Oil Imports

India imports 83% of its oil. Iraq is India’s largest crude oil supplier meeting one-fourth of the country’s needs. India imports around 111 million tonnes of oil from Iraq. Following Iraq, Saudi Arabia is the second largest oil supplier exporting 20.7 million tonnes of oil to India.

India-US

The oil imports from the US has been increasing lately. US is the sixth largest oil supplier of India. In 2017, India imported 1.9 million tonnes of crude oil from the US. This increased to 6.2 million tonnes in 2018-19.