Following the chemical explosion at Beirut’s port in Lebanon, the Chattogram Port and Customs authorities have started removing dangerous goods from the port
Hazardous goods, including 49 tonnes of chemicals stored at Chattogram Port, will be destroyed using a geocycle system of a Lafarge Holcim cement factory in the Surma area of Sunamganj.
On Wednesday, 49,000 kilogrammes of hazardous goods – which had been stored in five sheds of the port for 20 years – were sent to Sunamganj.
The goods are due to be destroyed on 6 December.
Faisal Bin Rahman, deputy commissioner (DC) of the auction branch of Chittagong Customs House, told The Business Standard, "48,870 kilogrammes of hazardous goods were taken to Sunamganj in three covered vans on Wednesday. Representatives of the Chattogram Port Authority, Chattogram Custom House and Environment Department will be present during the destruction of these products in Sunamganj."
Earlier, the Department of Environment refused to permit that the goods be destroyed in Chattogram.
According to customs sources, customs officials had wanted to destroy the products in Chattogram and applied to the Department of Environment on 13 October seeking permission for the destruction of the goods in Chattogram. However, the department did not allow this on environmental grounds.
In a letter signed by Nurullah Noori, director of the Chattogram Metropolitan Office of the Department of Environment, on 28 November, it was recommended that the hazardous goods be destroyed through Lafarge Holcim Bangladesh Ltd's geocycle project.
"There is no chance chemical products of the Chattogram Port can be destroyed in any part of Chattogram. These will be destroyed by being burned in 2,000-degree centigrade temperature through the geocycle project," said Nurullah Noori.
After the chemical explosion at Beirut's port in Lebanon, the Chattogram Port and Customs authorities started removing dangerous goods stored at the port for a long time.
The Chattogram Port Authority formed a committee on 9 August to inspect the current condition of the chemical and hazardous goods stored at the port and submit a report with recommendations.
The goods that had not been released from the port since 2000 and include: expired hydrochloride, hydrogen peroxide, blanket dithionite and sulphoxylate, nitro glycerol solution, different pharmaceutical chemicals, sanitiser, etc.