South Korea-based Lotte Group dedicated its $3.1 billion chemical complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
According to Louisiana Economic Development, during the past three years, Lotte Chemical developed a $1.9 billion ethane cracker on-site with Westlake Chemical as a minority investment partner.
In addition, Lotte Chemical built a $1.1 billion monoethylene glycol manufacturing plant and its new U.S. headquarters, which moved from Houston. The Lake Charles Complex, located at the junction of interstates 10 and 210 in Lake Charles, created 265 new direct jobs, with 135 at the ethane cracker, 80 at the MEG plant and 50 at the headquarters building.
“Among Korean petrochemical companies, Lotte Chemical is the first to locate a project in the United States; as such, this project represents a significant investment by Lotte Chemical,” said President & CEO Jinkoo Hwang of Lotte Chemical USA. “Today also marks the opening of our new corporate headquarters in Lake Charles, and we are very excited to be part of the industrial growth in the region.”
“For Westlake Chemical, this new production facility marks another phase of our continued investment in Louisiana,” said company President & CEO Albert Chao. “The site of the ethane cracker joint-venture is located just west of one of our largest chemical manufacturing facilities. The new facility will be the seventh Westlake operation in Louisiana.”
To secure the projects, the State of Louisiana offered the companies a competitive incentive package that includes a Modernization Tax Credit of $4.55 million for the ethane cracker project. Both projects received the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart®, the top-ranked state workforce training program in the nation. They received Economic Development Award Program incentives of $700,000 for the ethane cracker and $1.47 million for the MEG facility to offset site infrastructure improvements. In addition, the companies are expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“The Lotte Chemical project, and its partnership with Westlake Chemical in Lake Charles, demonstrates the best of what the world’s brightest minds can create in Louisiana,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “The project began with a partnership to produce a commodity chemical, ethylene. It continued with a decision by Lotte Chemical to produce a downstream derivative, monoethylene glycol. And the project culminated with Lotte Chemical’s decision to move its U.S. headquarters from Houston to Lake Charles. At one site, we have the major building blocks of chemical manufacturing and a company headquarters.”
“Southwest Louisiana welcomes Lotte to our region,” said President & CEO George Swift of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “We are proud to have this international company in our state. We are especially pleased to have their corporate U.S. office locate here. We look forward to a long relationship with Lotte.”