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Convtactor sued LyondellBasell over safety at La Porte facility

August 04/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A contractor sued LyondellBasell Industries in May, alleging lax safety measures led to a workplace accident at the same plant that leaked chemicals, killing two contractors and injuring 30 workers, reported Reuters.

The accident was one of the worst US chemical plant disasters since a 2019 Texas blast forced the evacuation of some 60,000 people the day before the US Thanksgiving holiday.

The suit, filed in a Texas District Court in Houston against LyondellBasell Acetyls, said the company failed to provide a safe work environment at its facility in La Porte, leading to a pair of accidents last year.

In December 2020, plaintiff Adam Good was injured while working in a below-ground excavation trench box after a valve broke and forcefully pushed water and other liquids into the area. Good's lanyard became entangled, preventing him from exiting, the lawsuit said. As a result, he nearly drowned and was injured.

The suit alleges Lyondell had knowledge that the method used to secure the valve was ineffective but did not intervene. It also said a similar incident had recently occurred at that unit.

Lyondell's acetyls unit in La Porte leaked some 100,000 pounds of a mixture including acetic acid, leading to the two worker deaths and multiple injuries. The leak did not prompt an evacuation of the surrounding area.

Good and his lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A separate lawsuit against Lyondell was filed on Thursday by Bryant Hinojosa, a worker injured earlier this week. That suit, which seeks monetary damages exceeding USD1 million, alleges that negligence on the part of Lyondell led to the accident. The suit claims Lyondell discovered the leak on Tuesday and called out a company that specializes in sealing and correcting industrial leaks. Lyondell was told the leak needed to be sealed and repaired, but opted to call other contractors up to temporarily fix the leak, putting off permanent repairs until later, the suit said.

LyondellBasell said it is aware of the lawsuits but does not comment on pending litigation.

As MRC informed earlier, LyondellBassel's La Porte, Texas, cracker was heard to be offline again after a short-lived restart, reported S&P Global with reference to sources familiar with operations' statement on July 23. The cracker had been confirmed as back online July 20, but, according to one market source, it was shut again not long after.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 953,400 tonnes in the first five months of 2021, which virtually corresponded to the same figure a year earlier. High density polyethylene (HDPE) shipments decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 607,8900 tonnes in January-May 2021, up by 33% year on year. Shipments of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas deliveries of PP random copolymers decreased.

LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its 13,000 employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, and improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road. LyondellBasell sells products into approximately 100 countries and is the world's largest licensor of polyolefin technologies.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, LyondellBasell, USA.
Category:General News
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