Information on the fire outbreak at Saipol plant in Grand-Couronne

Article written on 17 August 2021

update information on 27 August 2021

In accordance with Saipol’s safety rules, a group of experts (internal and external) conducted an analysis of the sequence of events that led to the fire outbreak on a press in the preparation workshop at the Saipol site in Grand-Couronne on the night of 14 to 15 August 2021.

The conclusions of the report indicate that the fire started as a result of the belt slipping on the drive pulley of the press screw. This caused a heat build-up which led to the combustion of materials in the immediate vicinity.

In view of these findings, Saipol :

  • checked all the pulley/belt transmission equipment at the Grand-Couronne site,
  • communicated to all the sites the additional safety measures to be implemented on the presses and similar equipment.

As regards the Grand-Couronne site, cleaning, verification and repair work on the installations is underway. This work should allow the resumption of seed crushing activity during the coming week, in agreement with the competent authorities.

information published on 17 August 2021

During the night of 14 to 15 August 2021, the Saipol site in Grand-Couronne suffered a fire outbreak on a press engine in the cruching unit of the plant.

Fortunately, there were no injuries and no environmental consequences. When the fire prevention systems (sprinklers) were activated, a plume of water vapour, resulting from the evaporation of the extinguishing water, was observed above the unit.

The teams on site, who are present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on our installations, showed professionalism and courage to control the fire with the support of the automatic sprinkler systems.
The reactions and decisions made made it possible to quickly contain the hot spots before the fire brigade arrived, which limited the spread of the fire and the damage, thus confirming the effectiveness of our extinguishing systems.

In accordance with Saipol’s safety rules, a group of experts (internal and external) is currently on site to conduct an analysis of the sequence of events as the workshop was coming out of an annual shutdown. All the interventions carried out on the equipment concerned during this maintenance period will also be examined.

As of 17 August 2021, this root cause analysis is progressing rapidly and will allow a safe resumption of activity after the implementation of corrective actions.

While waiting for the restart of the workshops stopped during this phase, the customers (especially rapeseed meals) have been informed of the temporary stop of the deliveries.

Usine Saipol de Grand-Couronne

The Saipol site in Grand-Couronne operates a biomass cogeneration plant that generates pressurised steam. When this water vapour is not fully used, for example during a technical shutdown, a white plume can be observed as in the photo opposite.

This plume consists solely of water vapour and is not toxic.