Bishop, Texas (Southside Light News)—Concerns over a planned maintenance project at the Celanese plant in Bishop that is set to begin on Monday have been put at bay for now. Officials with Celanese confirmed on Saturday that the project has been rescheduled until May of 2020 following concerns over COVID-19.
"Celanese recognizes that this is a very dynamic situation the world is in right now, and we are doing everything we can to balance running our business with our own company, personal and community responses to COVID-19," said Celanese Director of Global Corporate Communications Travis Jacobsen. "At this time, we’re planning that on Monday, May 4, 2020 (and extending through the end of June 2020), the Celanese Bishop, Texas facility will begin a 'turnaround' of its POM (polymer) production operations."
Celanese says that they may source a significant number of contract workers from throughout the state of Texas to support the site’s turnaround workload.
Any contract worker not from Texas will be subject to at least a 14-day quarantine period as required by executive order of Governor Abbott.
Residents, many of whom work at the Celanese plant have expressed concerns about so many potential workers coming from Louisiana and Houston to work on local projects.
“I want to see our city do well but not at the expense of the people who live here,” said Kingsville resident Maria Lopez. “Houston and Louisiana have a lot of people with this stuff (COVID-19) and many of them do not even know that they have it.”
Jacobsen points out how seriously Celanese is taking the matter at hand. He says that to ensure the health and safety of the local community, plant personnel (employees and contractors) and the physical facility itself, Celanese will adhere to the following requirements and procedures:
--Passive screenings required for all contractors prior to entering the facility
--Active screenings for facility access
--Enhanced cleaning of facilities where contractors and employees are lodging and breaking
--Social distancing recommendations will be followed on site, where possible
--Required PPE (personal protective equipment) will be worn by all personnel
--Separate ingress and egress points for contractors will be followed
"As this is a fluid situation, we are monitoring the CDC recommendations and working with the contracting companies to ensure that the contractors coming into the community are able to meet these recommendations to minimize any potential impact," Jacobsen said.