LyondellBasell will be closing its Houston refinery and exiting the refining industry, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The plant is set to close by December 31, 2023.
Lyondell originally planned to sell the plant back in 2017 but pivoted and continued operations. Then, in September 2021, the company announced its intention to sell, but its attempts to do so were unsuccessful. Lyondell said in a statement that the company would continue to entertain offers and alternatives for the refinery, which is one of the largest in the United States.
The 700-acre Houston refinery is located on the Houston Ship Channel and employs about 550 people. The facility has a refining capacity of 268,000 barrels of oil per day, but it has been a thorn in Lyondell’s side for years. It has reported consistent – and significant – losses since 2016, with a $1 billion loss in 2020 and a $696 million loss in 2019.
Lyondell also cited the advancement of its decarbonization goals as a reason for the plant’s closure.
For more information on the LyondellBasell Houston refinery closure, see:
- LyondellBasell plans to close its Houston refinery, one of the largest in the U.S.
- Lyondell Basell to shutter Houston oil refinery in exit from refining
Fire, Chemical Leak & Crane Accident: A History of the Houston Refinery
LyondellBasell’s Houston refinery is known for more than being one of the largest refineries in the country. It has made headlines for several shocking incidents that have claimed lives and impacted nearby communities. On July 18, 2008, a 30-story-tall crane toppled over, killing 4 workers and injuring 7 others. On May 17, 2010, a fire erupted at the facility and could be seen for miles. Two firefighters were injured while trying to extinguish the blaze. On July 16, 2021, residents of nearby Galena Park reported smelling a pungent odor and experiencing headaches and nausea. It was determined that a chemical had leaked from one of the storage tanks at the Houston refinery.
Protecting Plant & Refinery Workers Since 2004
Workers at refineries like the LyondellBasell facility in Houston face hazards every day, and those risks are compounded by efforts to increase profits by forcing production or ignoring safety standards. This refinery may be closing, but it is likely that another company will purchase the facility and start the cycle over again.
At Arnold & Itkin, we’re committed to helping plant and refinery workers in Texas and nationwide, getting them answers and fair compensation after fires, explosions, and other catastrophes. Contact our Houston plant and refinery accident lawyers today to find out more about the ways we can help you.