Lyondell’s Houston Plant Has Fire as Unit Restarts

LyondellBasell Industries NV had a small fire today during the restart of a process unit at its Houston refinery, a company spokesman said.

“There was a leak during the restart of a process unit and a small fire broke out,” David Harpole said in a telephone interview. “It’s under control and no one was hurt.”

The fire occurred as units were being restarted after a plantwide shutdown Nov. 20, Harpole said. He would not identify the unit that caught fire.

“It’s too early to see if this will slow the restart of the unit,” he said. “The rest of the restart at the refinery is going on.”

In a message left on a community hot line, LyondellBasell said an “abnormal operating condition” in a process unit caused the fire.

The Houston plant has a capacity of 268,000 barrels a day, according to LyondellBasell.

To contact the reporter on this story: Samantha Zee in San Francisco at; Aaron Clark in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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