A global chemicals firm wants to increase five-fold the amount of a hazardous substance it stores at its Bradford site.

Water chemistry company Kemira Chemicals is seeking permission to store nearly 1,000 tonnes of acrylamide solution at its base in Bowling Park Drive, West Bowling, Bradford.

It is part of a plan which would see the firm manufacturing the solution in the city instead of having to import it from Europe.

EU regulations classify acrylamide as toxic, as well as potentially carcinogenic and mutagenic.

Kemira uses the solution to manufacture the product polyacrylamide, a non-toxic substance which helps to clear impurities from water.

In March 2002, the firm was given permission to increase the amount of acrylamide solution it stores from 150 tonnes to 199 tonnes, but it now wants to increase this further to 999 tonnes.

Kemira says this is because it currently imports the solution from the Netherlands and transports it in isotanks to Bradford.

But the plant wants to start producing its own acrylamide in Bradford instead, and store it in larger quantities.

To store large quantities of hazardous substances, firms must apply for permission from their local Hazardous Substances Authority, which in this case is Bradford Council.

Kemira’s application will also be considered by the Health and Safety Executive.

In its application, the company said the long-term future of the Bradford plant could be in doubt if it didn’t get permission for the change.

It said: “We consider the approval to increase the maximum acrylamide inventory on site as a key aspect in gaining capital approval to build the acrylamide manufacturing facility on the site.

“Without this facility the adverse impact on manufacturing costs of purchasing and transporting acrylamide from Holland means that the long-term future of the site would be put in doubt.”

Separately, the firm has also applied for a minor change to an existing permission to handle the toxic and highly-flammable substance acrylonitrile, which it says will make its processes even safer.

Acrylonitrile is used to manufacture acrylamide, and in its application Kemira says it has acquired a new production method which will involve using less acrylonitrile in its reactor vessels.

It says this new method “will bring about a reduction in risk for this part of the process”.

Neither application has so far attracted any objections from the public.