Article courtesy of Baton Rouge Business Report –
Roughly nine months out from completing its $425 million chlor-alkali plant in Geismar, Westlake Chemical announced today plans to expand the ethylene capacity at its Sulphur plant and make other capital improvements totaling $330 million.
Louisiana Economic Development estimates the Sulphur expansion and upgrades will retain 480 existing jobs and create 25 new direct jobs, as well as 164 new indirect jobs. LED’s Business Expansion and Retention Group began discussing the expansion project with Westlake Chemical in May.
To secure the project, the state is providing the company with an incentive package that includes a $2.5 million Modernization Tax Credit, to be claimed over five years. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. Westlake Chemical hopes to complete the ethylene expansion in late 2015 or early 2016, with hiring for the new direct jobs to begin late in the fourth quarter of this year.
“This investment will continue this region’s economic growth and create great chemical industry careers for our people,” says Gov. Bobby Jindal in a prepared statement.
The expansion will add 250 million pounds of production capacity annually, increasing the company’s global ethylene capacity to 3.6 billion pounds annually. LED has more details on today’s announcement.
Meanwhile, more than 300 community and business leaders joined state and local officials today for a groundbreaking on the first part of a $10 billion natural gas liquefaction facility in Hackberry. The Sempra Energy project is one of the linchpins of an anticipated $73 billion in construction projects in the pipeline for southwest Louisiana. LED also has more deatils on the groundbreaking and the Sempra project. —Steve Sanoski, Baton Rouge Business Report