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Shintech in early stages of planning ethylene feedstock plant in Louisiana

By: Frank Esposito

April 15, 2014

Shintech Inc. has filed an air permit with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality that would allow for the construction of a new unit with more than 1 billion pounds of annual capacity for plastic feedstock ethylene.

Houston-based Shintech “is considering producing its ethylene requirements internally to take advantage of competitively priced feedstocks currently available along the U.S. Gulf Coast,” officials said in an April 15 news release.

Sites being considered for the ethylene unit are two locations in Plaquemine, La., and single sites in Addis, La., and Alvin, Texas. Officials added that the final investment decision on the project “is still months away,” but filing for the air permit allows Shintech to continue its due diligence work in advance of the final investment decision later this year.

Shintech ranks as one of North America’s largest PVC resin makers. The firm is a unit of global PVC production leader Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd. of Tokyo.

In June 2013, Shintech unveiled plans to add almost 700 million pounds of PVC capacity — as well as a similar amount of vinyl chloride monomer capacity and 440 million pounds of caustic soda capacity — in either Plaquemine or Addis by 2015. Those moves would be part of a $500 million expansion project.