Chemical storage group Odfjell fined €3m for environmental offences

Bulk chemicals storage group Odfjell was ordered on Tuesday to pay a €3m fine for a string of environmental offences at its Rotterdam operations.

The fine was imposed on the Norwegian company for leakages of benzene and butane, not having its safety systems up to scratch and failings. ‘That a disaster has not occurred is pure luck,’ the judge said, Nos television reported.

The public prosecutor, who asked for the fine to be €3m, also wanted the company shut down for a year for each new violation. The court did not think this was necessary now the safety procedures at Odfjell have been improved.


Odfjell has already been fined €850,000 for using tanks at its Rotterdam site which had not passed official safety checks. The company had been ordered to prove 51 tanks were up to safety standards by January this year but failed to do so, local broadcaster RTV Rijnmond reported at the time.

The company went on to use 17 of the tanks – resulting in a fine of €50,000 per tank.

Odfjell first came under fire for lax safety standards at its Botlek plant last year. Among the problems identified by inspectors were a shortage of fire-fighting equipment, poor safety procedures and staff being over-exposed to the chemical benzene.

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