FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Updated: May 25, 2018, 3:00 p.m. CDT
Contact: Kuraray America, Inc.
KURARAY AMERICA, INC. ISSUES UPDATE REGARDING EVAL PLANT INCIDENT
HOUSTON – Kuraray America, Inc. (Kuraray) today announced twenty of the twenty-one individuals who were transported to off-site medical facilities for treatment following Saturday’s incident have been released. At the time of the incident, 266 employees and contract personnel were onsite as part of a scheduled turnaround.
“There are no words to fully express the concern and compassion we feel for those who were injured or impacted by Saturday’s incident at our EVAL Plant in Pasadena,” Hitoshi Toyoura, president of Kuraray America, Inc.
Kuraray is working closely with local, state, and federal authorities as they conduct a thorough investigation of the incident. As part of that investigation, Kuraray is conducting a top-to-bottom review of this incident and will share the details with the relevant authorities.
At approximately 10:27 a.m. CDT on May 19, 2018, the facility experienced a release of ethylene from one of the production lines. Kuraray’s EVAL Plant uses ethylene to produce a high-barrier polymer suited for preserving quality and avoiding waste in food, medical, and industrial packaging. The impact is localized to the EVAL Plant, where the incident occurred. All other Kuraray facilities are operating normally.
“We are working diligently with OSHA and the CSB to determine the root cause of the incident. Kuraray’s commitment to the safety of operations, protection of the community and environment in the greater Houston area will continue,” said Robert Armstrong, General Manager of the EVAL™ Division of Kuraray America, Inc. “We are extremely thankful to all of the first responders that supported our emergency response team during this incident and appreciate the many messages of support for those injured and impacted by the incident that have come from the community, suppliers, customers, and the Kuraray family over the last few days.”
About Kuraray EVAL™
Kuraray is a globally recognized specialty chemical company that creates quality, sustainable solutions that strengthen products from a diverse range of industries. The company operates many subsidiaries around the world, including Kuraray America, Inc., which is headquartered in Houston. EVAL™ ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) resins have traditionally been used in household food packaging – from baby foods to shredded cheese. Additionally, this technology is applied every day in automotive plastic fuel tanks, pipes for floor heating systems, and agricultural fumigation films. For more information about Kuraray, visit www.kuraray.us.com.
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