We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Monday, July 19, 2010

Welspun Spins, Ignores Facts about Defective Steel in Pipelines

Welspun Corp Ltd., the company that produced 47% of the steel for TransCanada's Keystone pipeline and plans to supply Keystone XL as well, has responded to news that federal investigators found hundreds of instances of defects in steel provided to other pipelines. The Indian steelmaker's response is classic corporate obfuscation and refusal to take responsibility for failure.

Michael Cowden of AMM.com (American Metal Market) has a number of articles on the topic. One article, "Welspun Hammers Plains Justice for 'Faulty Facts' and Alleged Bias," offers Welspun's response to the bad news:
  1. Plains Justice is biased and just wants to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.
  2. Welspun has cooperated with federal investigators.
  3. The PHMSA has come to Welspun's Little Rock mill thrice this year and found compliance with all regulations.
  4. Welspun is proud to be TransCanada's partner in Keystone XL.
  5. Welspun calls itself the "world leader in pipe manufacturing," insists it "maintains the highest standards in the industry," has "state-of-the-art facilities, rigorous quality controls" and "well-trained and experienced operators and engineers," and "succeeds because we believe safety should always be the number one priority."
Well-spun indeed. Did you notice that not one line of that response refutes the facts laid out by Plains Justice? Did you notice how Welspun tries to distract us from the facts Plains Justice found by accusing Plains Justice of bias? Contrary to Welspun's wishful press, Plains Justice didn't just make up some ugly public relations campaign. Plains Justice scrutinized 3710 pages of federal documents to support its conclusions.

Welspun also devotes ink to saying how wonderful the upcoming Keystone XL pipeline will be. The Plains Justice letter to the PHMSA mentions Keystone XL, but the requests to PHMSA are all about investigating and publishing information about the already constructed Keystone pipeline to ensure TransCanada hasn't already laid any BP-waiting-to-happen pipeline under the South Dakota prairie (or elsewhere).

So let's review: Welspun made a lot of bad steel between 2007 and 2009. Federal inspectors verified hundreds of defects in steel delivered to other pipelines, some of whose owners are now suing Welspun. Almost half of the now-operational Keystone pipeline is made of Welspun steel. The bosses in Gujarat may not be worried, but those of us who get our water from the aquifers Keystone crosses would like just a little more assurance that TransCanada's steel really was well-spun... or at least better spun than Welspun's red herring PR.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.