HOUSTON, Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE: WLK) announced today it is converting the feedstock for its Calvert City, Kentucky ethylene plant from propane to ethane along with increasing ethylene capacity from 450 million pounds per year to 630 million pounds per year. This expansion and feedstock conversion will enhance Westlake's vinyl chain integration and leverage low cost ethane being developed in the Marcellus shale area.
In addition, Westlake announced an expansion of the existing PVC plant in Calvert City, Kentucky that will add approximately 200 million pounds per year of capacity to the existing 1,100 million pounds of annual capacity. This expansion allows Westlake to take advantage of the increased ethylene production at the site and to provide additional PVC resin to meet the growing demands of our global customers.
The construction costs for these projects are estimated to range between $210 to $240 million. The ethylene expansion and feedstock conversion project is targeted for start-up in the second quarter of 2014 and the PVC expansion is projected to start up in late 2014. These projects are expected to create approximately 300 construction jobs.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has preliminarily approved tax incentives up to $10 million, with an additional $7 million pending approval through the Kentucky Reinvestment Act (KRA), for these new projects and other work currently in progress at the site. KRA is designed to assist companies that need to make significant capital investment in Kentucky facilities in order to remain competitive."This is an outstanding step forward for Westlake and a tremendous boost for the economy of Calvert City and the surrounding area," said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. " Kentucky has built a partnership with Westlake and we're thrilled to see this multi-million dollar investment in the Commonwealth." In speaking of these projects Westlake Chemical Corporation's President and CEO Albert Chao stated, "These announced projects demonstrate our commitment to our overall integration strategy and to leveraging our access to low cost feedstock. It further confirms the importance of the Calvert City operations and our commitment to building a strong and successful site. We again extend our appreciation to Gov. Beshear and his administration, along with our supplier partners, for their continued support of our future in Kentucky and helping us to remain competitive at the site." Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK) Westlake Chemical Corporation is a manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and building products with headquarters in Houston, Texas. The company's range of products includes: ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, propylene, caustic, VCM, PVC resin and PVC building products including PVC pipe, windows and fence. Employing more than 2,000 people, Westlake operates in 15 locations in North America as well as one location in China. Westlake's operations in Calvert City have approximately 400 employees and have been in operation for 22 years. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.westlake.com. Commonwealth of Kentucky Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky. The statements in this release relating to the new construction, as well as any other matters that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially. For more detailed information about factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, please refer to Westlake's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, which was filed in February 2012. SOURCE Westlake Chemical Corporation