Axiall proposes to construct the new grassroots ethane cracker with a soon-to-be-named partner. The company expects to finance its portion of the investment with a combination of new debt and cash on hand. The combination of Axialls approximately $1 billion investment with approximately $2 billion from a partner could result in a total capital investment approaching $3 billion.
Axiall is a leading chemicals and building products company with major manufacturing facilities in Louisiana─two in the Lake Charles area and another in Plaquemine.
As part of Axialls long-term growth strategy, we believe it is important we have further integration with cost-based economics on 50% of our current annual ethylene requirements, said Paul Carrico, president and CEO of Axiall. While we are still considering a number of options and potential partners for the project, and we have not yet received final investment approval from our Board of Directors, we have narrowed our siting choices to Louisiana. We are excited about the prospect of expanding our footprint in the state of Louisiana and continuing to invest in its talented workforce.
Carrico said Axiall would begin the permitting process and certain front-end engineering design activities as the next steps in our process to select a final site for the project. Carrico added that Axiall is evaluating possible partners for both the ethylene and derivative portions of this potential project, and the company expects to announce a partner in the near term.
If Axiall chooses to move forward with construction of an ethylene cracker and gains board approval, commercial operation could begin in 2018. The company projects that an ethylene cracker alone would create between 150 and 175 permanent full-time jobs once operational; a related derivatives plant would increase the number of new permanent full-time jobs to 225-250. Thousands of additional construction jobs would be created during a four-to-five year construction period.
Axiall Corp. is a leading integrated chemicals and building products company. It is an international manufacturer of chlor-alkali and derivatives, chlorovinyls, and aromatics products including chlorine, caustic soda, vinyl-chloride monomer (VCM), chlorinated solvents, calcium hypochlorite, ethylene dichloride (EDC), muriatic acid, phosgene derivatives, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl compounds, acetone, cumene and phenol.