Photo Credit: Chen Leopold/Flash 90.
View of the oil refineries of Haifa and the industrial area. On Oct, 28, 2008.

An inactive cooling facility in the BAZAN Group oil refineries in Haifa Bay collapsed Friday morning after a small hole had been created in it.

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The structure has not been used as an active part of the plant since 2009, and it is being used instead as a visitor’s center.

The Fire and Rescue Authority announced there were no casualties and no fear of the spread of hazardous materials.

BAZAN (a.k.a. ORL) stated in response to the incident: “This morning, the upper section of one of BAZAN’s famous ‘yogurt cups’ (Lebeniot in Hebrew) collapsed. It was formerly used as a water cooling tower, and has not been used since 2009. The collapse occurred following the fall of the wall section on Wednesday. BAZAN is taking all necessary measures, including consulting with engineering and planning experts to study the event. The area is secure and there were no casualties.”

BAZAN Group is Israel’s largest integrated refining and petrochemical facility. The company also provides storage and transportation services for oil fuel products, as well as electricity and steam to industrial customers in the region. The plant’s products include, among other things, automotive fuel, raw materials for the fuel, plastics, gas, and road asphalt preparations. Its vast petrochemical plants have released significant amounts of pollution to the environment around Haifa Bay. According to the Ministry of the Environment, ORL was the most polluting plant in Israel as of 2014.

The company has set goals to reduce air pollution, including investing over a billion dollars to develop environmentally-friendly systems.

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