CHICAGO BP Products North
America Inc. has accused two structural steel fabricators of
supplying structural steel with defective coating.
The steel was installed in the
companys Whiting, Ind., refinery, which is undergoing a
multibillion-dollar upgrade. The project required "thousands of
tons" of structural steel coated with Pyrocrete 241, a
fireproofing material which is now "degrading prematurely and
causing damage to BPs property," according to the lawsuit
filed in U.S. District Court in Indiana against Schuff Steel
Co., Trinity Steel Fabricators Inc., Carboline Co., Tecon
Services Inc. and Alfred Miller Contracting Co.
Phoenix-based Schuff and
Houston-based Trinity were each contracted by BP to provide
structural steel coated with Pyrocrete to the Whiting refinery.
Schuff and Trinity subcontracted the fireproofing services to
Lake Charles, La.-based Alfred Miller and Houston-based Tecon,
which sourced the Pyrocrete from St. Louis-based Carboline.
Under their contracts, Schuff and Trinity are responsible for
the work of their subcontractors, BP said.
At various locations within the
refinery, the Pyrocrete now exhibits "surface softness (and)
crumbling; low hardness and compressive strength; delamination
and/or flaking; (and) voids, cracks and other discontinuities,"
the lawsuit alleges.
"Trinity and Schuff failed to
supply structural steel with Pyrocrete that was properly
prepared and applied as required by the contract," said BP, and
the allegedly improperly prepared and applied Pyrocrete is
causing damage to the structural steel itself.
The Warrenville, Ill.-based BP
Plc subsidiary did not name a damage amount it is seeking for
alleged breach of contract, breach of warranty and
A $6.3-million purchase order
with Trinity called for nearly 3,000 tons of structural
sections, plus steel plate, angles, joists, decking, trusses,
studs, stair treads and stringers, handrails and bolts,
according to court documents.
Schuff was contracted to
fabricate more than 14,000 tons of steel into caged ladders,
platforms, equipment supports, pipe racks, floor plate and
grating, stairs, railings, walking and working surfaces, and
Bill Moran, Trinitys
president and chief executive officer, told AMM that
his company wasnt yet prepared to comment on the
The chief executive of Schuff
Steel could not be reached for comment.