Bakone Business Management & Consulting

Richards Bay Fire Rages On!

A fire that started at the NCT woodchip mill conveyor belt system continues to wreak havoc in Richards Bay as authorities take the fight to the skies.

Authorities have warned that the fire which started on Saturday will continue to burn for days.
NCT General Manager Danny Knoesen says Umhlathuze Fire Department as well as various forestry caompanies are trying every trick in the book to contain the blaze.

As of Monday afternoon, 2000 litres had been dropped in water bombing efforts.

“We’re dropping water and retardant on the piles [of wood] to protect them. We have other men watching from the top and we’re putting foam in. The wind is not in our favour and the risk is very, very high.

“We’re going to keep fighting as long as we can. This is ground zero and we are throwing everything we can at it,” he said.

Commenting on the extent of the damage, Knoesen says they’ve lost all their log stock and the chip house is going to be unsalvageable.

“A lot of the infrastructure in this plant is badly damaged by the fire. The loss from an equipment point of view is going to be in hundreds of millions of Rands. The other plant that’s currently burning is even worse.

“We’ll be able to salvage some of the infrastructure here to help us turn this around once we get going but right now we’re not even thinking about what’s left. We are focusing on the fire”

Operations at the company are expected to halt for at least six to eight months which will heavily impact employees and suppliers.

Efforts are also in place to try and prevent the fire from reaching neighbouring companies which keep dangerous and inflammable chemicals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *