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Methanol Point Lisas

Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited shut down its operations at Point Lisas on Thursday after grey smoke started billowing from the M5 plant causing alarm among workers.

In a video supplied to Guardian Media, several workers wearing coveralls were seen glancing up at the plant while the grey smoke billowed in the air.

Workers were heard saying “What’s that boy? I seeing men running yeah. That thing coming closer.” One remarked, “Plant going and blow-up.”

An internal memo circulated by Methanol Holdings stated that the plant had been temporarily shut down after a pipe failure on Thursday morning.

The incident occurred around 8:30 am at its M5 plant located at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate.

“Our emergency procedures were activated to ensure the safety of our people and securing of the plant. There were no injuries or negative environmental impacts.”

The internal memo said the facility is being prepared for inspection and in keeping with safety protocols, a detailed investigation had been commissioned.

“We thank our first responders and all employees supporting a very commendable approach to managing this event,” the company said.

MHTL is part of the Swiss-based Proman Group and operates five methanol plants in Point Lisas as well as an ammonia, urea ammonium nitrate, melamine complex which comprises of seven individual plants. The plants are operated by Proman Operations teams.

Efforts to contact Lindell Sookdar, E&M Manager of MX proved futile as calls to his cellular phone went unanswered.