Materials firm Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. will spend $175 million to renovate and restart an ethane cracker making plastic feedstocks ethylene and propylene in Louisiana.
Restarting the dormant cracker in Carlyss, La., will create 125 direct jobs and almost 500 indirect ones, officials with Louisiana Economic Development said in a Sept. 23 news release. The project also is expected to create 600 temporary construction jobs.
Once restarted, the cracker will have annual production capacity of 815 million pounds of ethylene and almost 70 million pounds of propylene. Bangkok-based Indorama has acquired both the cracker and about 250 surrounding acres of land.
“This acquisition will make us well-placed to receive cost-advantaged ethane and propane feedstock…(and) will make us the first Thai company to take advantage of the shale gas revolution in the United States…ahead of the greenfield crackers being constructed,” CEO Aloke Lohia said in the release.
Commercial startup of the cracker is expected before the end of 2017. Louisiana will provide Indorama with an incentives package that includes a $1.5 million performance-based grant to offset infrastructure costs.
Indorama ranks as one of North America's largest PET makers. The firm currently is building a new PET plant with 1.2 billion pounds of annual capacity in Decatur, Ala. Globally, Indorama employs 14,000 and has annual sales of $7.5 billion, making a range of plastics, fibers and specialty chemicals.