Spotlight News 4/7/2015

Chemical Plant Explosion Ignites Major Fire in Zhangzhou, China

An explosion at an oil storage unit of a chemical plant in Zhangzhou, China has sparked a massive fire. According to local reports, hundreds of firefighters have been deployed to extinguish the flames at the factory, which produces paraxylene (PX) for use in plastics and polyester manufacturing. There is little indication as to the scope of the disruption on the facility’s production capabilities, and current casualty estimates reach as high as 17. Additionally, local sources indicate that this is the second time in two years that this particular facility has suffered a major industrial accident.

Nigerian Militants Target Natural Gas Pipeline in Latest Bombing

Militants belonging to the Urhobo ethnic group claimed responsibility for the recent bombing of a natural gas pipeline in Delta State, located in Nigeria’s oil-producing south. A militant spokesman said the group targeted the pipeline, which is owned by Nigeria’s state-owned oil company, because of the militants’ exclusion from pipeline protection contracts. The militants have threatened future attacks if a protection deal is not struck with the central government.

Congestion At O’Hare International Airport Slowing Shipment of Air Cargo Through United States

A combination of factors is driving significant congestion at the O’Hare International Airport in the United States, causing growing delays for cargo shipments transiting through the facility. The congestion is driven by road construction near the airport, poor communication between air shippers, and a large influx of cargo diverted from West Coast seaports. The congestion is delaying cargo handling operations at the facility and pushing back departures for several flights. While road construction is due to cease soon, interactions between shippers and increase cargo through the facility is unlikely to be address in the near future. Several entities are considering a meeting between shipping companies to discuss how trade through O’Hare can be remedied, but there is no concrete plan to enhance communication between firms as of yet.