Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Report: Tulsa-Based Williams Partners' Plant May Be Down Three Months

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Report: Tulsa-Based Williams Partners' Plant May Be Down Three Months

Article excerpt

It is possible that the Williams Partners olefins plant could remain down until September, according to a Wells Fargo report on Friday. Also, on Friday Williams Partners reported another death in the Thursday morning explosion and fire at the plant.

The Geismar, La., plant was scheduled for a 50-day turnaround beginning in August.

"Assuming the plant is out of service an additional 45 days - mid- June through the beginning of August - we estimate an EBITDA effect of roughly $45 million," Wells Fargo said.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, is an indicator of a company's profitability.

Wells Fargo said Williams, which controls Williams Partners, has both business interruption and property insurance to cover the cost of repairs and downtime. However, Wells Fargo said it expects Williams to suffer some financial damage as a result of the incident, as the plant is expected to be out of service for some time.

Williams Partners will also see some financial effects, Wells Fargo said. Still, the firm maintained both stocks as "outperform" in its ratings.

Williams said in a statement on Friday that officials do not know when the plant will resume production.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, along with the air monitoring contractors hired by Williams, continues to assess the air and water quality on and around the facility, said Rodney Mallett, executive director of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

There have been no detections above normal levels, Mallett said.

The DEQ is doing additional monitoring out of caution, he said, and the plant is in the process of emergency flaring.

Louisiana environmental officials have no idea how long the investigation will take into the explosion, Mallett said.

"We have no idea," he said. "There is no timeline. We will be participating with other agencies as long as we are needed."

The DEQ deployed emergency response staff members. The results of the monitoring so far show no harmful effects on air and water quality. …

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