Westlake to expand Kentucky ethylene plant, convert to ethane feed

Westlake Chemical Corp. plans to convert the feedstock for its Calvert City, Kentucky ethylene plant from propane to ethane, along with increasing ethylene capacity from 450 million pounds per year (MMlb/yr) to 630 MMlb/yr. 

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 MMlb/yr of capacity to the existing 1,100 MMlb/yr of capacity. 

This expansion will allow Westlake to take advantage of increased ethylene production at the site and provide additional PVC resin to meet growing demand from global customers.

The construction costs for these projects are estimated to range between $210 MM and $240 MM. 

The ethylene expansion and feedstock conversion project is targeted for startup in the second quarter of 2014, and the PVC expansion is anticipated to start up in late 2014.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has preliminarily approved tax incentives up to $10 MM, with an additional $7 MM pending approval through the Kentucky Reinvestment Act.

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