BP Amoco explosion results in 3 deaths
AUGUSTA, GA. — Two explosions and a fire resulted in the deaths of three workers early March 13 at a BP Amoco Polymers Inc. plant in Augusta.
The workers were performing routine maintenance on equipment used to make Amodel-brand high-temperature nylon, according to company officials.
Production of Amodel, as well as liquid crystal polymers and sulfone made at the site, has been suspended indefinitely, according to spokesman Scott Dean.
Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Georgia Department of Labor still were on the scene March 14 and had not identified the cause of the blasts.
The workers who were killed — Heinrich Kohl, George Sanders and John Rowland — were in an area of the plant that involves heat-transfer fluid used to keep polymer from hardening, Dean said in a telephone interview.
The fire, which began at 2:45 a.m., was extinguished by 8:15 a.m. The plant's 200 workers were evacuated as a precaution.
Southcorp selling U.S. packaging unit
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA — Southcorp Ltd. of Adelaide has decided to sell its packaging business in the United States to a management-led group.
The deal is scheduled to close in April, pending financing and due diligence, Larry McVicker said in a telephone interview.
The group retained investment banker J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. of New York to arrange financing for a new company carrying a familiar name.
The current Atlanta-based business unit, Southcorp Packaging USA Inc., will change its name to North American Packaging Corp. A portion of the business carried that name until 1997.
McVicker will head Nampac as chairman and chief executive officer. He has been president and chief operating officer of Southcorp USA since December 1999.
The unit employs 1,200, has annual sales of about $200 million and operates 11 plants in seven states, Ontario and Puerto Rico.
Southcorp sold its Asia-Pacific packaging business to a Melbourne, Australia-based division of Visy Industries Holdings Pty. Ltd. for A$800 million (US$440.8 million) on Feb. 1.
Together, the operations constituted Southcorp's packaging division.
GE Plastics buys Matra extrusion assets
PITTSFIELD, MASS. — GE Plastics of Pittsfield has acquired the polycarbonate extrusion assets of Matra Plast Industries Inc., a PC sheet maker based in Long Sault, Ontario.
Matra Plast operates a 250,000-square-foot plant in Long Sault, where it employs 63. A sales estimate for the firm was unavailable. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Matra Plast's primary products are solid, multiwall and corrugated PC sheet for greenhouses, signs and architectural and construction. Its sheet products are sold under the Verolite and Vistar brand names.
The purchase does not include Matra Plast-owned plants in Berthierville, Quebec; Fullerton, Calif.; and Puslinch, Ontario.
GE Plastics' Structured Products Division ranked 19th in Plastics News' 2000 ranking of North American film and sheet makers, with annual sales estimated at $295 million.
PW Eagle, Lamson reach settlement
MINNEAPOLIS — A saga of PVC pipe business lost has resulted in a $2 million settlement agreement between PW Eagle Inc. and Lamson & Sessions Co.
The agreement resolves the 1999 suit Cleveland-based Lamson filed against Minneapolis-based PW Eagle. Then known as Eagle Pacific Corp., the company forced a last-minute termination of a $58 million deal to purchase Lamson's PVC pipe business.
PW Eagle announced the settlement agreement March 15, when it also announced an adjustment of fourth-quarter and full-year 2000 results stemming from the settlement. The accrual reduces PW Eagle's profit for 2000 by about $1.2 million, or $0.16 a share.
PW Eagle originally reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2000 results on March 1, with a fourth-quarter loss of $7.4 million.