Lebanon has signed a contract with a German company to clear and dispose of 52 containers of hazardous materials from the Port of Beirut, the Lebanese Army has announced.
The materials in question include flammable chemicals, toxic gases, self-reactive substances, and other volatile substances.
Combi Lift, a German heavy-lift and shipping company, signed the $3.6-million deal on November 11th with the port’s authority, the Lebanese Army, and Lebanese Customs.
The company proceeded to remove the containers from the port after the contract was signed, the Lebanese prime minister’s office told AFP on Thursday.
The removal of these containers comes more than 3 months after the massive ammonium nitrate explosion that ripped through Beirut, killing over 200 people and injuring and displacing thousands of others.
It also constitutes a necessary “preemptive step,” interim port chief Bassem Al-Kaissi said, warning that if these chemicals caught fire, “Beirut will be wiped out.”
The Lebanese Army previously separated the chemicals from each other in preparation for the hired company to dispose of them safely.
The army was initially going to be tasked with clearing the containers and disposing of them.
However, because it does not have the technology or the position required to take these measures, it ended up reducing the risk of the materials by covering them with sand and transporting them to a safe place in the port, after separating them, as per Al-Akhbar.