DALLAS — Occidental Chemical Corp. of Dallas is moving to increase its profile in the PVC compounding market by building a 300 million-pound-per-year plant in Pasadena, Texas.
The plant, slated to begin operating November 1998, is designed to meet increasing demand from building and custom extrusion markets, company officials said.
The project will diversify OxyChem's vinyl business, which ranges from chlorine to compounds, into more-profitable and less-cyclical PVC compounds, according to Charles Mears, executive vice president for chlorovinyls.
``Compounding has been a better business for us than the commodity resin business,'' he said in a Nov. 26 telephone interview from the firm's Dallas headquarters. ``The new plant will allow us to go more into an upgraded PVC area.''
OxyChem also is expanding its PVC resin plant at Pasadena by 450 million pounds by year-end.
The expansions will allow OxyChem to reach into new areas where PVC is a viable replacement for other materials, such as concrete and structural steel, Mears said.
With the new capacity, OxyChem said it will challenge Georgia Gulf Corp. of Atlanta for the No. 2 spot among North American PVC compounders. Geon Co. of Avon Lake, Ohio, leads that field and substantially increased its market share with its recent acquisition of Synergistics Inc., the Mississauga, Ontario, compounder that had held the No. 2 ranking.