Baton Rouge’s Performance Contractors is suing Equistar Chemicals, saying the company owes it more than $30 million for its work as a general contractor on a new polyethylene unit in Texas.
The companies entered into a construction services agreement in May 2017 to build the unit at LyndonBasell’s 549-acre La Porte Complex on the south shore of the Houston Ship Channel. There, the LyndonBasell’s Equistar Chemicals business produces ethylene, propylene, linear low-density polyethylene and low-density polyethylene for household and industrial chemicals and plastic products.
In the lawsuit filed last week in Harris County District Court in Houston, Performance alleges that when it became clear the project would not be completed on time because of circumstances beyond its control—including the ITC Terminal Fire in March—the two companies agreed to a site transition that would allow Equistar to assume responsibility for completion of the project and save money. According to the petition, this included the work of another Baton Rouge contractor, ISC Constructors.
Before the transition was complete, however, Equistar “began to suggest Performance’s work was defective” and said it would conduct the work and back-charge Performance for costs, even if Performance could do the work for less money, despite the contract specifying that such work be done on a cost reimbursable basis.
Performance alleges it has completed its scope of work and is owed an outstanding balance and interest totaling more than $30 million in payments withheld by Equistar.
Equistar has not yet responded to the lawsuit. See the petition filed in Harris County District Court.