Santos Suspends Ultracargo Fuel Operations After Week-Long Fire

Smoke billows from a fire at a fuel tank storage facility run by Ultracargo in Santos, near Sao Paulo April 3, 2015. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
Smoke billows from a fire at a fuel tank storage facility run by Ultracargo in Santos, near Sao Paulo April 3, 2015. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

ReutersSAO PAULO, April 10 (Reuters) – The mayor of Santos suspended on Friday operations at a fuel storage warehouse in Brazil after a week-long fire at the facility operated by Ultracargo slowed exports from the country’s largest port.

“With this measure, all the company’s activities in the city are suspended until all legal requirements are met to ensure the site’s safety,” the mayor’s office said

Ultracargo, a unit of Brazilian chemical and fuel-distribution company Grupo Ultra, said its facility had always complied with legal and technical standards and that it would provide any necessary clarifications to the mayor.

The fire was mostly extinguished by Friday morning, with fire fighters working to cool the tanks and snuff out flames still forming in the released gas.

Authorities blocked an entrance to the port for cargo trucks near the Ultracargo facility for a fifth day on Friday although trucks have been able to access the Santos side of the port at night and the other side, in Guaruja, has been unaffected.

Santos has been unable to export 400,000 tonnes of soybeans and soymeal at a time Brazil accounts for much of the world’s supplies, soy industry association Abiove told Reuters on Thursday.

(Reporting by Gustavo Bonato Editing by W Simon)