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The first shipment of a major piece for the Lotte-Axiall facility in Westlake has arrived. (Special to American Press)

The first shipment of a major piece for the Lotte-Axiall facility in Westlake has arrived. (Special to American Press)

Lotte-Axiall gets first piece of major equipment

Last Modified: Thursday, February 16, 2017 8:03 AM

By Emily Fontenot / American Press

Seven months after Axiall and Lotte Chemical broke ground on a $3 billion joint project in Westlake — the construction of an ethane cracker and adjacent chemical plant — the project’s first shipment of major equipment arrived.

The cargo shipped from South Korea on Dec. 29 and arrived Feb. 10 at the Port of Lake Charles, where it was loaded onto a barge that traveled up Bayou d’Inde to the project’s newly constructed barge slip, said Jim Rock, executive director at the project site.

“It is the first use of our new barge slip designed and constructed specifically to take advantage of our access to water for receiving large shipments such as this,” Rock said. “We will be receiving many more shipments during the year.”

The barge contained two pieces of heavy equipment, and another is on its way, Rock said. The three pieces weigh over 2.5 million pounds. The longest vessel is 240 feet long, and the widest is over 26 feet in diameter.

LACC, short for Lotte-Axiall Chemical Co., broke ground in June at the Westlake site near Axiall’s existing manufacturing facility.

The project consists of a $1.9 billion ethylene plant and a $1.1 billion ethylene glycol plant. Lotte Chemical will own 100 percent of the ethylene glycol plant and 90 percent of the ethylene plant, with Axiall owning 10 percent.

Rock said the ethylene plant will produce about 2 billion pounds a year. Half of the ethylene will go to Axiall to produce chemicals used in PVC pipes, siding and decking. The other half will feed the ethylene glycol plant to make ethylene glycol — a liquid product in polyester fibers and antifreeze — for export.

Rock said the construction is on track, despite heavy rains. He said facilities should be complete in the first quarter of 2018 and start operating in the first quarter of 2019.

He said project leaders plan to hire over 200 people when operating and to peak at over 3000 construction jobs.

The group has been busy clearing the site, Rock said, and preparing it for contractors. Workers have driven about 9,000 concrete piles into the ground and poured multiple building foundations.

They are now receiving heavy equipment, installing underground piping, building tanks and putting up pipe racks. A new warehouse and maintenance building are almost complete.

Posted By: Randy Peterson On: 2/21/2017

Title: LACC Project

The Lake Charles area is lucky to have such a Great Project in the neighborhood. There are reasons why corporations select the Gulf Coast Ethylene Network for projects such as this.

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