Westlake Chemical launches ethylene expansion

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: January 11, 2013 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers

HOUSTON (Jan. 11, 10:30 a.m. ET) — Westlake Chemical Corp. has launched work on a project that will add 230 million pounds of annual capacity for plastic feedstock ethylene at its plant in Lake Charles, La.

The 60-day project will include a planned maintenance turnaround that will take the unit offline, officials with Houston-based Westlake said in a Jan. 10 news release.

Westlake first announced the Lake Charles expansion in April 2011. An expansion of a second ethylene cracker at the site is scheduled by the end of 2014. President and CEO Albert Chao said at the time that new technical developments in the natural gas industry “make expansion in North America attractive.”

Natural gas can be used as a feedstock to make ethane, which is then converted into ethylene, which is a primary feedstock for polyethylene, PVC and other plastic resins. Newfound supplies of natural gas are being developed throughout North America.

Westlake also is planning to add ethylene and PVC resin capacity at its plant in Calvert City, Ky. A project announced for that site in October would add 180 million pounds of annual ethylene capacity and almost 200 million pounds of annual PVC capacity. The Calvert City expansion is expected to cost between $210 million and $240 million. No cost estimate for the Lake Charles expansion was included in the Jan. 10 release.

Several other North American plastics and chemicals makers – including Dow Chemical Co., Nova Chemical Corp. and Shell Chemical Co. - also are adding capacity to take advantage of low-priced natural gas.

Westlake’s portfolio of plastics and chemicals includes PVC, low density polyethylene, ethylene, vinyl chloride monomer and caustic soda, as well as PVC pipe and related products through its North American Pipe unit.

Through the first nine months of 2012, Westlake’s sales basically were flat at just under $2.8 billion, but its nine-month profit jumped 25 percent to just over $290 million when compared to the year-ago period.

Westlake also has enjoyed a good run on Wall Street recently. Its per-share stock price was around $50 in mid-2012 but was just under $86 in late trading Jan. 10.


Comments

Westlake Chemical launches ethylene expansion

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: January 11, 2013 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Globalization brings sizable growth, primarily in Asia

November 25, 2014 1:40 pm ET

In 1990, the year after Plastics News published our first issue, there were 33,000 injection molding machines sold worldwide. Fast forward to 2013,...    More

Image

Taipei Plas vandal and German firm trade lawsuits

November 25, 2014 1:26 pm ET

Taiwan businessman Karma Tang, who splashed red paint at German firm Baumüller GmbH's Taipei Plas booth, is in a messy legal battle.    More

Image

Auxiliary equipment maker Ross expands in India

November 25, 2014 1:12 pm ET

U.S. auxiliary equipment maker Charles Ross & Son Co. is expanding in India, opening a new plant early next year in Pune.    More

Image

3D Systems buying Cimatron

November 24, 2014 1:46 pm ET

3D Systems Corp. is buying Cimatron Ltd., an Israel-based company that makes integrated computer-assisted design and manufacturing software, for $97...    More

Image

Compounding products and services

November 24, 2014 9:47 am ET

   More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events