Tianjin to relocate chemical plants after devastating blasts

World Today

The authorities in Tianjin have decided to shift two chemical plants away from a densely-populated area this year to an industrial zone on the coast line, in a wake of the deadly blasts that shook the port city last year.

Explosion recorded by residents in Tianjin, China

Residents in the coast north Chinese city of Tianjin reported an explosion at the dock at the Tianjin Binhai New Development Zone around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday local time. The cause is not known.

Two blasts had ripped through a chemical warehouse located in a residential area in Tianjin on August 12, 2015, killing 160 people.

The first explosion was equivalent to three tons of TNT, while the second was measured to be equivalent to 21 tons of TNT.


Chinese regulations forbid facilities storing hazardous chemicals from being located less than one kilometer (two-thirds of a mile) from public buildings and major roads.

Residents living nearby the warehouse that was the site of the explosions last year said that they had no idea that the facility was handling dangerous goods and posed a risk to them.

Following the explosions, China’s central government ordered local governments to conduct work security checks, especially targeting dangerous chemicals.

Wang Junming, General Manager of Nangang Industrial Zone Co. Ltd., said on Monday that these two factories that will be relocated – the Tianjin Chemical Plant and the Tianjin Dagu Chemical Plant – pose safety and environmental threats to the residential areas in the neighborhood.

Tianjin to relocate chemical plants after devastating blasts

Soon after last year’s incident, authorities in the city began to consider moving these hazardous chemical plants to the Nangang Industrial Zone, about 30 kilometers from the explosion site, and 10 kilometers from the nearest residential area, Wang said.

He added that the project will cost 29 billion yuan ($4.5 billion). The funds for the move, he explained, will be raised from low-interest loans and supportive funds provided by Tianjin’s Binhai New Area, home to the warehouse where last year’s explosions had occurred.