A chemical leak at Napier port has now been contained and clean-up is almost complete.

The New Zealand fire service located the damaged drum which was leaking a potentially inflammable solvent, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, this afternoon.

The call-out came at 10am when the substance was found to be leaking by a port worker.

After an initial assessment the alarm state was stepped up, with one firefighter describing the situation as "quite serious" given the flammable nature of the leaking chemical.


By noon there were four appliances from Napier and the hazardous substances unit were on site, along with three appliances from Hastings as well as the mobile command unit.

A fire service spokesman said the extra resources had been sent to the scene given the substance which was found to be leaking.

St John ambulance had also been on site but no one was affected by the substance.

The damaged drum has now been removed from the shipping container and has been put into a specialised hazardous chemical container for disposal.

A port spokeswoman said the small amount of Methyl Ethyl Ketone that did leak is believed to have evaporated.

"Another 10 drums are yet to be removed from the container and washed before being sent on to the owner."

Napier Port chief executive, Garth Cowie, said he was happy with the way Napier Port and support agencies responded, including New Zealand Fire Service and Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

A port spokeswoman said it is expected the clean-up will be concluded within an hour.