Williams Resuming Production at Louisiana Plant

It’s November and that’s when Williams Partners LP says it will resume manufacture of ethylene at its Louisiana petrochemical plant where 16 months ago, an explosion left two workers dead, 80 others injured and the plant badly damaged. The Tulsa-based firm announced in the past few days the resumption of production at the plant that suffered nearly $500 million in damage and lost business.

John Dearborn, senior vice president of Williams NGL and Petchem Services issued a statement about resuming work at the plant.

“We are in the finals stages of commissioning and startup,” he said. “We fully expect to be manufacturing ethylene for sale in November, consistent with our financial guidance. We continue to place our highest focus on restoring safe and reliable operations for our employees, contractors, community and customers.”

The company has reviewed safety conditions at the plant, hiring two consulting firms to carry out evaluations. Williams Partners LP was surprised at the string of incidents at its operations beginning with the Geismar explosion. Four plants owned by the company in Wyoming, West Virginia, Washington and Louisiana had incidents involving fires and explosions.

OSHA has proposed $99,000 in fines over the Geismar explosion and the deaths of the two workers, Scott Thrower, 47 and Zachary Green, 29.


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