LyondellBasell La Porte Complex

The LyondellBasell La Porte complex is a group of chemical plants located on the south shore of Houston in what is known as the Battleground Industrial District. The 540 acre complex, accessed by Miller Cut-Off Road, features two barge docks on the ship channel near the complex. The complex of facilities includes 613 employees (including contract workers) and an annual payroll of approximately $40 million (including benefits). The complex adds to the local economy by purchasing more than $400 million in local goods and services annually. Property tax for the property is approximately $12 million annually.

LyondellBasell has annual revenue of around $30.8 billion with more than 14,000 employees around the world. The facilities are vertically integrated to streamline production of refined products and advanced applications. The La Porte complex is made up of two companies. There are Equistar Chemicals and Acetyls. Equistar produces linear low-density polyethylene, ethylene and other related products. These are used in items such as trash cans, potting soil and heavy plastic bags.

Acetyls manufactures vinyl acetate and acetic acid products used in the food and textile industries. Some of the end products include adhesives, paper coatings and water-based paints. Products made at the complex as a whole include propylene, linear low density polyethylene, ethylene, acetic acid, propylene and vinyl acetate monomer.

Before the 1980s when it was widely regulated, asbestos was a main form of insulation commonly used in chemical plants like the La Porte Complex. Asbestos is a natural substance that is a form of silicate; it is a weave of tiny fibers that can break loose and become airborne. Because chemical plants often used this material in walls, ceilings and in boiler rooms, workers could easily inhale the fibers or get them stuck in hair or clothing. Long-term exposure to asbestos is now known to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and other illnesses. One of the dangers of Mesothelioma is the dormancy period; asbestos fibers can remain in a person’s lungs for 20 to 50 years before symptoms of disease begin to show.