Port Arthur (February 25,2020) – The site is secure and response efforts continue to focus on activities to de-risk the site and minimize impact to environment, while preserving the safety of workers and the community. Response teams remain focused on de-risking the facility and bringing response efforts at TPC Group Port Neches Operations safely to an end.
96 percent of the high purity butadiene has been transferred offsite and more than 50 percent of 1,3 butadiene containing material has been transferred offsite. This will be followed by the transfer of crude C4, raffinate, polyblend and other process materials to further secure the site.
Neighboring industrial plants are now up and operating. TPC Group Port Neches Operations continues to make good progress with the goal of restoring terminal operations capabilities requiring dock, tank farm and pipeline operations, in the first half of the year to expand our ability to serve industry customers throughout facility recovery and restoration.
Staffing Update: TPC Group is evaluating and planning for a rebuild of those parts of the plant that were impacted by the November 2019 incident. It is expected to take a number of years to rebuild. For the foreseeable future, we have an opportunity to operate the site as a terminal to serve current and potential future customer and supplier needs. As operations transition to only a terminal and services organization, a reduced number of employees will be required.
The Company communicated to its employees today it is has made the very difficult yet necessary decision to reduce the workforce at its Port Neches Operations. The Company does not expect that we will need employees beyond those necessary to operate as a terminal for more than three to five years. The downsizing will impact salaried employees as well as union/hourly employees.
This reduction in force is due to the Port Neches incident and will have minimum impact across the organization. These changes will not impact the continuing progress of our response and recovery efforts.
Claims Update: The Claims Helpline (1-866-601-5880) continues to operate Monday-Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All property claims settlements are by appointment only at the Armory Claims Center, located at 511 Grigsby Ave. in Port Neches, Texas.
TPC Group’s voluntary claims process went into effect on November 27, 2019 and received high levels of participation. The Company remains committed to providing the funds necessary to repair damage to impacted homes. This is consistent with our commitment to the community as impacted neighborhoods benefit from residents repairing damaged homes. The evacuation-only portion of the claims program remained open for more than seven weeks before concluding on January 20, 2020. February 4, 2020 was the last day to file a property damage claim to be considered part of the voluntary property claims process.
The Voluntary Claims Program was modified to make the process more efficient given the large volume of claims received, to prioritize the most heavily impacted areas, and to fund repairs in a manner that ensures residential repairs are made. In response to community feedback, TPC Group has made updates to the program. The requirement that contractors be licensed has been removed, and a “do-it-yourself” option has been provided for homeowners who wish to make repairs themselves. Additional information regarding the claims process, including frequent questions and answers, is available at www.portnechesreponse.com.
Information Resources: TPC Group will continue to manage inquiries via the official response website at www.portnechesresponse.com, as well as through established social media channels on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PortNechesUC and Twitter (@PortNechesUC).
Residents are also encouraged to register for updates from the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN). Call 1-877-843-7826 (toll-free) anytime to hear important alerts and notifications, or visit www.thestan.com to register for notifications.