Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ) today announced that the initial damage assessment of the Geismar, La., olefins plant following an explosion and fire that occurred at the facility on June 13, 2013, is underway. The company has key personnel onsite to begin developing plans to make repairs, undertake a previously planned plant maintenance turnaround and complete a 600 million pound-per-year expansion of the olefins operation. Williams Partners is cooperating with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) on their investigations into the cause of the incident. The plant remains shut down and the expansion work that was occurring is temporarily suspended. Neither the full extent of the damage nor the time needed to make repairs is known. The following information is based on initial observations:
- The explosion originated in the propylene fractionator area of the plant.
- The piping, heat exchangers and reboilers in the area just adjacent to the propylene fractionator have been seriously damaged and will likely need to be replaced.
- Sections of the electrical cable trays in the elevated portions of a pipe rack adjacent to the propylene fractionator tower sustained enough damage such that significant amounts of the electrical power cable and control wiring in the plant will need to be replaced.
- An approximately 50-foot section of the plant pipe rack containing portions of the plant steam system, pipeline ethane feed vaporization systems, and fuel-gas conditioning equipment sustained damage that will require the replacement of support structures and significant amounts of piping.
About Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ)Williams Partners L.P. is a leading diversified master limited partnership focused on natural gas transportation; gathering, treating, and processing; storage; natural gas liquid (NGL) fractionation; and oil transportation. The partnership owns interests in three major interstate natural gas pipelines that, combined, deliver 14 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States. The partnership’s gathering and processing assets include large-scale operations in the U.S. Rocky Mountains and both onshore and offshore along the Gulf of Mexico. Williams (NYSE: WMB) owns approximately 68 percent of Williams Partners, including the general-partner interest. More information is available at www.williamslp.com, where the partnership routinely posts important information. Portions of this document may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined by federal law. Although the partnership believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such statements are made in reliance on the “safe harbor” protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the partnership’s annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.