With effect from April 30, 229 employees -mostly technicians, will lose their jobs permanently at Houston-based Equistar Chemicals LP’s Chocolate Bayou facility in Alvin. The Chocolate Bayou olefins unit has a nameplate capacity of 1.2 billion pounds pa of ethylene and 725 million pounds pa of propylene. The plant has been out of service since December 2008, and has been idled by the company last month on a long term basis. Those employees, out of a total strength of 250, who will not be laid off, will assist the company in managing the site.
Equistar is an indirect subsidiary of LyondellBasell Industries AF SCA. The company, along with Houston-based Lyondell Chemical Co. and certain other affiliates, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Jan. 6.