Westlake Chemical Corporation will invest between $210 million to $240 million to convert the feedstock for its Calvert City, Kentucky, ethylene plant from propane to ethane, in a series of projects estimated to create approximately 300 construction jobs.
The transformation will increase the plants ethylene capacity from 450 million pounds per year to 630 million pounds per year. This expansion and feedstock conversion will enhance Westlake's vinyl chain integration and leverage low cost ethane being developed in the Marcellus shale area, the firm said.
In addition, Westlake announced an expansion of the existing PVC plant in Calvert City, Kentucky that will add approximately 200 million pounds per year of capacity to the existing 1,100 million pounds of annual capacity. This expansion allows Westlake to take advantage of the increased ethylene production at the site and to provide additional PVC resin to meet the growing demands of our global customers.
Albert Chao, Westlake Chemical Corporation's President and CEO stated; "These announced projects demonstrate our commitment to our overall integration strategy and to leveraging our access to low cost feedstock. It further confirms the importance of the Calvert City operations and our commitment to building a strong and successful site. We again extend our appreciation to Gov. Beshear and his administration, along with our supplier partners, for their continued support of our future in Kentucky and helping us to remain competitive at the site."
The ethylene expansion and feedstock conversion project is targeted for start-up in the second quarter of 2014 and the PVC expansion is projected to start up in late 2014. These projects are expected to create approximately 300 construction jobs.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has preliminarily approved tax incentives up to $10 million, with an additional $7 million pending approval through the Kentucky Reinvestment Act, for these new projects and other work currently in progress at the site. KRA is designed to assist companies that need to make significant capital investment in Kentucky facilities in order to remain competitive.
This is an outstanding step forward for Westlake and a tremendous boost for the economy of Calvert City and the surrounding area," said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. "Kentucky has built a partnership with Westlake and we're thrilled to see this multi-million dollar investment in the Commonwealth."