Westlake Chemical Corp. founder and former chairman Ting Tsung Chao died March 7 at age 86.
Better known as T.T., Chao ``pioneered the petrochemical industry in Taiwan and Southeast Asia,'' a news release from the Houston company said.
Chao moved his family from China to Taiwan in 1946. In 1954, he built Taiwan's first PVC plant. He founded China General Plastics Group in 1964, which grew to include many of Asia's largest plastics manufacturers, the release said.
Chao moved into the U.S. market in 1986, creating what is known today as Westlake Chemical. He also started Titan Chemicals Corp. at the same time. Titan was the first petrochemical company in Malaysia and remains the largest, according to the news release.
In 2005, Chao was awarded the Petrochemical Heritage Award by the U.S. Chemical Heritage Foundation.
He is survived by his wife, Wei Fong Chao, and his family, including Dorothy Jenkins, a Westlake director; James Chao, Westlake's chairman; and Albert Chao, Westlake's president and chief executive officer.