The explosion in the Bosanski Brod oil refinery was probably caused by a fault on the diesel and petrol refining unit, and the workers managed to prevent an even greater disaster by turning off gas supplies, Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik and the chief-of-police in Bosanski Brod, Slobodan Milicevic told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
On Tuesday evening around 9:30 pm a large explosion occurred at the Bosanski Brod oil refinery, killing one worker and injuring nine. The explosion was strongly felt in the Croatian town of Slavonski Brod across the river Sava, which also forms the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Dodik visited the injured workers in hospital in the Bosnian town of doboj on Wednesday and called them heroes because they managed to prevent an even greater disaster.
"It was important to shut down the valves to stop the gas flow," Dodik said.
Meanwhile, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic met today in Slavonski Brod with the officials of Russian ministries of economic development and energy, as well as executives of Croatian Plinacro and Crodux companies, which deal with gas distribution and supply.
They talked about the process of transforming the Bosanski Brod refinery to make it gas-driven, which sould significantly reduce the problem of high levels of air pollution in the town of Slavonski Brod, on the Croatian side of the border.
The Russian Zarubezhneft, which bought the Bosanski Brod refinery in 2003, and the Croatian Crodux oil and gas trading companyare negotiating on how the €20 million a year project should be carried out, Croatian Jutarnji List daily reported on Wednesday.
“The transformation of the refinery will, for the most part, solve the issue of air pollution, reducing the harmful gas emissions by some 50 percent,” Croatian President Grabar-Kitarovic said on Wednesday after the meeting.
“For us, the priority is to improve the ecological sustainability of the Brod Refinery. The project has two components – to modernise the facility itself so it could accept gas, and to build the pipeline,” Zarubezhneft’s General Director Sergey Kudryashov, adding the company had already invested $6 million in the modernisation project.
“The complete transformation will be prepared by the third quarter of 2019,” he said.