Wednesday AM February 9th, 2011

The Houston-based owner of the Mont Belvieu plant — scene of yesterday's explosions and fire — is one of the country's largest shippers and processors of natural gas. Andrew Schneider looks at the facility.

plant explosion

Enterprise Products’ Mont Belvieu plant is a hub for deliveries of feed stocks for petrochemical facilities beyond Houston. Company spokesman Rick Rainey.

“What this facility does essentially is store natural gas liquids — the liquids that are part of the natural gas stream when it’s produced and comes out of the ground. It’s processed. We store these natural gas liquids, which are essentially made up of butanes, propane, ethanes, things like that.”

Salt caverns beneath Mont Belvieu make up the world’s largest storage site for hydrocarbons. Numerous leaks, explosions and other industrial accidents have hit the area’s petrochemical plants over the years.

A 1980 underground gas leak forced 72 families from their homes for nearly 5 months. A decade ago, a pipeline ruptured and exploded, forcing 40 people from their homes.

For more pictures of the fire, visit the KHOU Ch.11 Website.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...