A hydrogen generation facility has filed suit against the manufacturers of allegedly defective equipment, claiming defects in the equipment caused an energy release to occur.

Praxair alleges an energy release occurred in the collection manifold on Dec. 8, 2009, causing damage to the manifold, a gas boiler, the facility's electrical system and other equipment near the manifold.

The plaintiff operates a hydrogen generation facility, whereby a methane steam reformer is used to convert natural gas and steam into high purity hydrogen.

According to the complaint filed Dec. 7 in Jefferson County District Court, an energy release occurred in the collection manifold, also referred to as a collection header or a transfer line.

The energy release occurred due to the failure of an external carbon steel pipe of the collection manifold, the suit states.

Praxair blames defendants Linde Boc Process Plants, Selas Fluid Processing Corp. and Willbros Downstream for causing the energy release, saying they negligently failed to provide it with accurate safe operating temperatures, failed to warn of the potential for a cracked refractory inside the collection manifold and failed to design the collection manifold from materials able to withstand the potential operating temperature.

In addition to its property damages, Praxair lost the use of its facilities, lost profits, sustained a diminished value and incurred increased operation costs because of the energy release.

Praxair is seeking actual and consequential damages, plus repair costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Brook F. Minx and Mike Prather of Donato, Minx and Brown in Houston will be representing it.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Case No. E191-442

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