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.


Manic said...

Ahh yes, Antwerp it's one of the largest chemical industrial zones in the world. If you drive through the harbours you just can see the flaming towers of the chemical plants. It's like living on an oil field, only we don't got no oil in the ground.

awomynda said...

Great capture. Have you sent to the local newspaper?

woman wandering said...

I mostly pretend the industry isn't out there manic ... it's so far from the type of landscape I am happiest in. Last night there was simply no pretending.

Thanks Amanda :)