Sasol Ltd. has confirmed an explosion and fire occurred Monday at its Lake Charles Chemical Project in Louisiana, an integrated ethane cracker and downstream derivatives complex still in the process of being permitted.
“The fire is extinguished and all employees and contractors are safe and accounted for,” according to the Westlake Fire Department website.
The explosion and fire broke out in the project’s low-density polyethylene unit which was behind schedule to become operational, Sasol states.
“The unit was in the final stages of commissioning and startup when the incident occurred,” the release states. “The unit has been shut down and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident, the extent of the damage and resulting impact on the LDPE unit’s (beneficial operations) schedule.”
All other Lake Charles units and previously commissioned LCCP units — namely the ethane cracker, ethylene glycol, and linear low-density polyethylene units — are unaffected and operating to plan.”
The remaining three downstream units under construction to complete the integrated LCCP site including Ziegler alcohols and alumina, alcohol ethoxylates, and Guerbet alcohols were also unaffected.