KINGSPORT — Eastman had a minor incident at about 6:45 p.m. on Sunday that resulted in a small fire at its South Coal Gas facility in Kingsport, a company spokeswoman confirmed.
“The fire was terminated and no one was injured,” Eastman spokeswoman Tracy Kilgore Addington said in an email. “We are currently assessing the cause of the incident. As per our standard procedure, the Kingsport Fire Department was on standby during the incident. The standby was terminated shortly after the incident.”
On Oct. 4, 2017, Eastman experienced an explosion in the Kingsport site’s coal gasification area that disrupted manufacturing operations.
There were no serious injuries and no impact to the environment. Eastman restarted coal gasification operations at the facility in January 2018.
“While our assessment of the incident is still ongoing, we can confirm that though the incident occurred at the same facility, it is not similar or related to what occurred in 2017,” Kilgore Addington pointed out.
According to the American Chemical Society, coal gasification technologies like those used by Eastman have been employed to produce chemical feedstocks, the building blocks from which complex chemicals like plastics, fibers, dyes and other consumer products are constructed.
Eastman was the first company in the U.S. to produce a new generation of industrial chemicals commercially using coal gasification technology.
Eastman employs full-time emergency fire and medical services personnel at several of its manufacturing facilities, including the company’s largest site and home to its corporate headquarters in Kingsport. On-site emergency personnel at these locations provide emergency response capability 24 hours per day, seven days per week for all employees at the site.
Emergency responders are required to conduct annual training to maintain their practical skills and certification.
Eastman’s emergency response plans contain procedures for engaging local and municipal emergency response services as needed, including police, fire and medical.
Eastman completes periodic emergency response drills and exercises with external emergency response services to test operability of the emergency response plans.
Eastman is a global specialty materials company.