Sasol kicks off largest capital project of fiscal year with turnaround

Published 9:38 am Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Sasol last week began its largest capital project of this fiscal year with the Lake Charles Chemical Complex East Plant ethylene and steam turnaround. The turnaround will last until late November and will peak at approximately 400 additional workers per shift.

“The ethylene and steam units are the heart of our operations in Lake Charles,” said André Bonton, vice president of technical services for Sasol Chemicals America. “This turnaround is not only part of Sasol’s strategy of manufacturing products safely, reliably, and cost competitively, it also is a symbol of Sasol’s commitment to the Southwest Louisiana region.”

Sasol selected Turner Industries, a veteran industry contractor with a strong local presence, as the main mechanical contractor for the turnaround. Both companies are committed to hiring contractors from the Southwest Louisiana area.

“Like Sasol’s mega project, this turnaround will directly impact our company as well as other Louisiana-based companies,” said Kirt Chaisson, Vice President Turner Industries. “In addition to our local hiring efforts, we also have over 200 local suppliers, subcontractors and vendors that will support this project. We view the benefits that will come from this turnaround as another component of our area’s recovery efforts.”

A turnaround is a periodic, planned event where one or more production/processing units are temporarily removed from service. Turnarounds are designed to be completed in the shortest amount of time possible to avoid an unnecessary loss in production. As with all operations, Sasol is focused on executing the turnaround with zero safety, process or environmental incidents.

“Our team is focused on safety planning, hazard identification, as well as detailed communications and logistics planning to ensure the safety of our workforce and community,” Bonton said. “In addition, Sasol, Turner and all service providers working on the turnaround will adhere to Sasol’s Covid-19 workplace protocols, as aligned with CDC guidance.”

Residents near the Lake Charles Chemical Complex can expect higher traffic flow on Houston River Road from mid-October to late November. Sasol is working with local agencies to ensure the higher volume in traffic is managed appropriately. Some flaring and noise may also occur. If residents have questions about turnaround activities, they can call Sasol’s community information line at (337) 494-5301.