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Geismar Ethylene Production Days Away, Williams Says

After multiple delays, Williams Partners LP's repaired and expanded Geismar Olefins plant in Louisiana is expected to begin manufacturing ethylene for sale next month, the company said.

An explosion and fire in June 2013 at the facility killed one person and injured dozens (see Daily GPI, June 14, 2013). The restart had been planned for last June (see Daily GPI, May 2), but delays pushed the planned restart to October (see Daily GPI, July 31). Then in October Williams Partners said the start-up would be in November (see Daily GPI, Oct. 29).

"This commissioning effort has been especially challenging after the uncharacteristically hard shutdown at the time of the incident and as a result of being out of commission for more than a year," said John Dearborn, senior vice president of natural gas liquids and petchem services. "Safety is our No. 1 priority and guides all milestones related to this project as we work to rebuild our reputation as a safe and reliable supplier of olefins."

Capacity at the Geismar plant is now 1.95 billion pounds of ethylene per year. Williams Partners' share of the total capacity of the expanded plant is about 1.7 billion pounds per year. Williams owns controlling interest and is the general partner of Williams Partners.

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