Friday Aftenposten had an editorial on the Odfjell scandal, in which the Norwegian company owned chemical terminal in Rotterdam was closed due to safety hazards that went unreported. I’ll only print the top portion of the article, it concludes however with:

“Such events can unfortunately lead to Norwegian business’ good reputation deteriorating”

Looks like that carefully crafted image Norway has managed over the decades is cracking under the strain of repeated negative exposures, causing a many a Norwegian sleepless nights. Good.

Scary Norwegian company

So far, it has now come with the Norwegian company Odfjell, already for several years has been known for its weak security and the silent about the events,” wrote the Dutch newspaper Trouw in an editorial yesterday.

Seen from Norway can be difficult to comprehend fully the importance of a Norwegian-owned chemical terminal in Rotterdam is closed due to security breaches.

Rotterdam, the Rhine near the outlet, is the world’s second largest port. At this gigantic hub of sea and land transport is oil refineries and storage facilities for crude oil, refined products and chemicals side by side. Enormous quantities of hazardous substances are stored and handled fairly close to large population concentrations.

12 years ago took over the Norwegian shipping company Odfjell one of Europe’s largest chemical terminals where it is stored well over 1.5 million cubic meters of different chemicals and fuels. Now the terminal closed until further notice by the Dutch authorities because of problems with fire fighting preparedness.

Unfortunately, it is easy to understand the fierce criticism that Odfjell has been subjected to. Last year, leaked 200 tonnes of butane leaked from the plant last year – without it being reported to environmental authorities.

Norwegian companies have often benefited from the fact that Norway is known as a country where security and safety are at the forefront. Such events can unfortunately lead to the Norwegian business reputation deteriorate.

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