You know a bad place to start a fire? A factory where they manufacture butane. Know what’s even worse? When it’s the most-producing butane factory in the world.
On Sunday January 19, the Taeyang Industrial Co. factory. A boom shook the town of Chenonan, South Korea, and a black cloud tore out of the facility. There were no deaths reported, but the entire complex was leveled, including several containers ready to be shipped out.
Taeyang supplied 60% of the world’s butane, so the accident is likely to have serious consequences on all industries involving butane… Bic lighters, gas refineries, and, of course, extraction. “Industry analysts estimate that this will effect over $1 billion in sales into the U.S. market; a major shortage has taken affect,” according to Butane News.
It’s proof positive of globalization when a flame catches in South Korea and dabbers halfway around the world feel the heat, but it’s uncertain what the butane shortage’s longterm effects will be. Whether the result is an increased usage of other extraction solvents like CO2 or Isopropyl alcohol or a rise in the cost of a dab remains to be seen.