Westlake Chemical to expand ethylene unit in Lake Charles

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

Houston-based Westlake Chemical Corp.

will expand an ethylene unit at its Lake Charles facility, creating more

than 800 construction

jobs and six permanent positions, a company spokesman said.

“This expansion will increase ethane-based ethylene capacity by approximately 230-240 million pounds annually in support of

the company’s ethylene integration strategy,” David Hansen said in a news release.

“The unit is expected to be down approximately 50 days for the work to be completed.”

The project, which will begin with maintenance in the first quarter of 2013, will lead to no layoffs and will involve “many

of the employees that normally work in that unit,” Hansen said by phone Wednesday.

He said the announcement shows how much confidence the company has in the future of Lake Charles, which “is a port strategic

site for us. We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars there.”

The company now has about 600 regular employees and 150 contract workers at the Lake Charles complex, Hansen said.

Westlake Chemical produces ethylene, polyethylene, propylene, and PVC building products.

Online: www.westlake.com.