Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Antwerpen last night
In New Zealand, I usually found beauty in Nature ... whether it was in the mountains, rivers, lakes or sea.
Belgium is something else.
Last night I photographed the Fina Antwerp Olefins 'display'. Stunning and yet disturbing when you realise I was kilometres away from their processing plant.
A lightning strike had reportedly shut down their plant. I was curious and googled them: Fina Antwerp Olefins
is in a joint venture with ExxonMobil Chemical and processes naphtha, butane and propane from the Total refinery into base chemicals: ethylene, propylene, butadiene and benzene. These monomers are used either in the Antwerp and Feluy plants for polymer production, or sold to the chemical industry, which converts them into a variety of everyday products.
Apparently the display I saw and photographed in our night sky was created by a need to burn off everything caught in the system at the point of shutdown to prevent the risk of explosions on restarting the processing.
I don't know ... watching the moon light up Mount Cook or Mount Tasman seems preferable somehow.