Germany: Explosion and fire at Ireks malt and baking ingredients

On Tuesday evening shortly after 8 pm occurred an explosion and a subsequent fire at the premises of Ireks in Kulmbach, Germany. The company is a worldwide active producer of baking ingredients and malt for the brewing and food industry. When the emergency services from the fire brigade, the federal agency for technical relief (THW), rescue service and police arrived on site, the production facilities were on fire. The flames quickly spread to the four-story building and set fire to the roof and other parts of the building. In addition, there was heavy smoke.According to initial information, no one was injured and the employees were able to escape outside shortly after the explosion. The over 100 firefighters managed to get the fire under control late at night.

As the police says, there has been a dust explosion in a filter system presumably due to a technical defect. The damage to property is estimated in the low single-digit million euro range.

Already in July last year a fire broke out at Ireks in Kulmbach. At that time a screw conveyor for grain flour caught fire and caused a damage amounting to 500,000 Euros.

Ireks is a leading producer of baking ingredients, malt, flavourings and ice-cream products. In addition the group operates its own agricultural trade called Iruso. The family-owned group operates at its headquarters a malting plant with a theoretical yearly malting capacity of about 125,000 tons. Other maltings are located in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Schweinfurt, Wien/Austria and Graz/Austria. In order to keep pace with the steadily increasing demand for malt extracts, Ireks has invested last year a double-digit million sum in the construction of a new brewhouse in Kulmbach. The new facility enables the group to produce and refine malt extracts as well as to produce liquid sourdoughs.

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