Updated: Major renewable energy firm SunEdison experienced a silane leak that caused an explosion and fire at its granular polysilicon plant in Pasadena, Texas on Friday, October 2 injuring four workers carrying out maintenance work, according to reports.
SunEdison’s media spokesperson, Gordon Handelsman was quoted to have confirmed the incident, saying: “Our focus is on the safety of our employees and of the community. We have confirmed that the accident occurred when employees were conducting maintenance.”
Reports have subsequently highlighted that only one of the workers at the plant remains in hospital, suffering from chemical burns, while highlighting a history of incidents at the plant in the past, though recently no incidents had been reported.
The fire was soon contained.
SunEdison relies on the Pasadena plant for granular polysilicon production that it converted into solar wafers for supplying to its sub-contracted solar cell and module suppliers. The PV modules are then used in its downstream PV power plant business.
The company had previously spun-off its semiconductor polysilicon and wafer operations into SunEdison Semiconductor.
SunEdison has also noted to PV Tech that OSHA had released the Pasadena facility to resume operations on Sunday.
However, the company said that it was going through normal safety inspection and start-up processes with the expectation that full plant operations would resume the week of October 5.