Technip wins engineering for Westlake ethylene expansion in Kentucky

France-based Technip was awarded engineering and procurement contracts by Westlake Chemical for the expansion and modernization of ethylene cracking furnaces and the recovery section of Westlake's ethylene plant in Calvert City, Kentucky.

The ethylene capacity will be increased by 40%, the companies said Tuesday, rising from 450 million lb/year to 630 million lb/year. It will use ethane feedstock instead of propane, as per the original design.

"Technip is pleased to have the opportunity to support Westlake with this important and strategic project," said Nello Uccelletti, Technip's senior vice president for the onshore division. 

"As the largest ethylene licensor and contractor, Technip looks forward to bringing its experience and capabilities in the revamp of cracking furnaces and modernization of ethylene plants," he added.

The expansion and feedstock conversion of the ethylene plant will enhance Westlake's vinyl chain integration and leverage low-cost ethane being developed in regional shale gas areas, according to project officials. 

Westlake is one of the major ethylene producers in the US, and its Calvert City operation is a large integrated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) site.

Technip's operating center in Claremont, California, will execute the work.

"We will utilize our proprietary technology from our portfolio, recently expanded by the acquisition of Stone & Webster process technologies and associated oil and gas engineering capabilities," Uccelletti said.

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