Houston resin and building products maker Westlake Chemical Corp. is investing about $90 million to expand its Calvert City, Ky.-based production facility.
Westlake is growing its annual chlor-alkali production by 50,000 electrochemical units, bringing the company's total capacity to 275,000 per year.
The firm also is adding 300 million pounds of PVC resin capacity, boosting overall capacity to 1.7 billion pounds by 2009.
Completing the threefold effort to enhance the company's vertical integration will be a new large-diameter PVC pipe plant. The plant will be relatively small, company officials said, with about 50 million pounds of resin-consumption capacity, upping the company's overall number to 850 million pounds. Westlake sells pipe primarily to the water and sewer industries. Westlake defines large-diameter pipe as anything in excess of 12 inches.
The plant is still early in the design and planning processes, and some details, like how many workers might be hired or how big the new buildings might be, are unavailable.
``The fundamental word is integration,'' said Dave Hansen, Westlake senior vice president of administration. ``We're trying to balance ourselves across the chain.''
This is the company's first major expansion in two years, Hansen said.
``Expansion of our PVC pipe business is a natural expansion for our downstream product line,'' he said. ``It has to do with more complete integration up and down the chain.''