Mexichem tumbles with ICA after deadly blast at Mexico plant

epa05269659 A handout picture made available by the El Heraldo De Coatzacoalcos newspaper shows emergency team members working at the premises of a Pemex petrochemical complex following a strong explosion, in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, 20 April 2016. At least three people died and over 60 were injured on 20 April in a strong explosion at the petrochemical complex of the state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in the port of Coatzacoalcos, in the eastern state of Veracruz, officials said. The explosion occurred around 15.30 local time (20.30 GMT), in the plant Clorados 3 of the Mexican Petrochemical Vinyl (PMV) known as Pajarito, a joint venture between Mexican petrochemicals consortium Mexichem and state oil firm Pemex, media said. Authorities issued an alert to the general population of Coatzacoalcos to refrain from leaving their homes due to the presence in the air of chemicals that could cause skin burns.  EPA/EL HERALDO DE COATZACOALCOS -- BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE -- HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES



Mexichem SAB and Empresas ICA SAB fell the most on Mexico’s benchmark index after a deadly blast at a petrochemical plant where both companies had operations.
Mexichem dropped 3.4 percent, capping a two-day decline of 8.4 percent after the on Wednesday explosion at a facility the company co-owns about 600 kilometers from Mexico City. ICA, which was upgrading the plant with partner Fluor Corp., posted its worst week since February. The death toll stood at 27 as of Friday afternoon, according to Reforma newspaper.
A majority of those who died were ICA Fluor contractors, Mexichem CEO Antonio Carrillo said. The joint venture was working on the plant overhaul at the time of the deadly accident, according to Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, CEO of Petroleos Mexicanos. The state-owned oil company known as Pemex holds a minority stake in the plant.
Two ICA Fluor employees died and a third is unaccounted for, Fluor said. “The deceased employees’ family, friends and colleagues are in our thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time,” the Irving, Texas-based company said.
Gabriela Orozco, head of investor relations at Mexico City-based ICA, said, “We’re deeply saddened by the accident and the priority at the moment is our employees.”

Assessing Damage
Mexichem will release updated information on the dead and missing today as it continues assessing damage at its ethylene plant, Carillo said. The chlorine plant in the Pajaritos complex is operating normally, he said.
There are no estimates for damages from the explosion yet, and recovery efforts will probably take months, Gonzalez Anaya said. Mexichem Chairman Juan Pablo del Valle said the company would probably release details on losses from the accident in its next quarterly report.
Both executives confirmed the ICA Fluor joint venture was working near the source of the blast.

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