HOUSTON, Aug. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE: WLK) announced today it will construct a new chlor alkali plant to be located at its vinyls manufacturing complex in Geismar, Louisiana.
The new chlor alkali unit is estimated to produce 250,000 electro chemical units (ECU's,) annually, bringing the company's total estimated ECU capacity upon completion to 525,000 per year. This new plant is in line with Westlake's vertical integration strategy for its vinyls business and allows the company to achieve chlorine integration.
Albert Chao, Westlake's President and CEO stated, "This new facility is an important strategic investment for Westlake and will further enhance the vertical integration of our vinyls segment and allow us to capture value throughout the entire vinyls chain. This new construction, along with the previously announced expansions of our Calvert City, KY operations and the construction of a new PVC pipe plant in Arizona, will also allow us to offer our customers a wide array of quality products and service on a coast to coast basis."
The project is currently estimated to cost between $250 million and $300 million and is targeted for start-up in the 1st half of 2011 and will be partially funded by the Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds issued in 2007. The plant will utilize state of the art membrane technology and is expected to create approximately 100 permanent positions and 400 to 500 construction jobs. The new unit will be adjacent to the existing vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) facilities at the Geismar complex.
Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK)
Westlake Chemical Corporation is a manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and fabricated products with headquarters in Houston, Texas. The company's range of products includes: ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, propylene, caustic, VCM, PVC and PVC pipe, windows and fence. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.westlake.com.
The statements in this release relating to the vinyls expansions and new construction, as well as any other matters that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially. For more detailed information about factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, please refer to Westlake's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, which was filed in February 2008.
SOURCE Westlake Chemical Corporation -0- 08/29/2008 /CONTACT: Media Relations, David R. Hansen, or Investor Relations, Steven Bender, both of Westlake Chemical Corporation, +1-713-960-9111/ /Web site: http://www.westlake.com / (WLK) CO: Westlake Chemical Corporation ST: Texas, Louisiana IN: CHM SU: SB-JR -- LAF007A -- 0813 08/29/2008 06:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com