BP sues companies, claiming defects

2012-12-03T16:30:00Z 2012-12-04T10:35:03Z BP sues companies, claiming defectsBy Marisa Kwiatkowski marisa.kwiatkowski@nwi.com, (219) 662-5333 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | BP is suing five companies associated with a fireproofing material used in its multibillion-dollar modernization project at the Whiting Refinery.

The company claims the product is defective and causing property damage, federal court records show.

BP filed the federal lawsuit on Monday against Carboline Co., Trinity Steel Fabricators, Inc., Schuff Steel Co., Tecon Services, Inc. and Alfred Miller Contracting Co. — companies that either manufactured, supplied, prepared or applied the fireproofing material to structural steel at the Whiting Refinery, court records state.

BP claims the damage caused by the product comes at "great cost" to the company. As part of its modernization project, BP required "thousands of tons of new structural steel," some of which were coated with a fireproofing material known as Pyrocrete, according to the complaint.

Pyrocrete is a fireproofing product Carboline Co. recommends for use as outdoor fire protection in petrochemical plants, refineries and offshore platforms, according to the lawsuit. It is supposed to be a durable material that resists cracking and impact damage, prevents disbondment and requires less material for projects.

BP claims the Pyrocrete in the Whiting Refinery is crumbling, discolored, flaking, cracking, splitting and soft, court records state.

BP said the companies named in the lawsuit all refused to remedy or accept responsibility for the problem. It claims damages exceed $75,000, according to the complaint.

“BP is not aware of any safety concerns or structural integrity issues caused by the fireproofing material, which is the subject of its lawsuit against the defendants, nor do we expect our remediation efforts to interfere with or delay our commissioning schedule for the modernization project at the refinery,” BP spokesman Scott Dean said Tuesday.

The entire modernization project is expected to be complete by the second half of 2013. The project has cost BP several billions of dollars to date.

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