OPCW welcomes commercial chemical disposal of Syrian chemical weapons

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced on Friday that it welcomes commercial chemical disposal firms to submit expressions of interest regarding the disposal of chemical weapons in Syria.

The OPCW listed 18 types of chemicals, featured on the EOI document, that were collected as part of the OPCW-United Nations Joint Mission in Syria. Under the terms of the mission, the chemicals are to be destroyed.

Many of the chemicals are common industrial chemicals and generally considered harmless or safe to destroy. The OPCW is asking for EOI submissions and will select its top picks for the facilities to safely destroy of the Syrian stockpile.

It is estimated that 800 metric tons of chemical weapons need to be destroyed from the Syrian stockpile. The OPCW declared that it will observe the destruction process to ensure safety and environmental regulations are upheld.

Interested commercial companies are expected to destroy the effluent that results from the destruction of higher priority chemicals. These chemicals will undergo a process called effective destruction to ensure minimal risk to the environment and those conducting the destruction process.

It is estimated the cost to destroy the chemical weapons using commercial companies will be between $47 million and $55 million. The OPCW is asking its partners to contribute funds for the destruction of these chemical weapons in support of the OPCW-U.N. Joint Mission in Syria.