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Westlake to Enhance Capacity of Chlor-alkali Plant in Louisiana

Published on 2011-12-27. Author : SpecialChem

HOUSTON -- Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE: WLK) is increasing the capacity of the previously announced chlor-alkali plant to be located at its vinyls manufacturing complex in Geismar, Louisiana.

The chlor-alkali unit originally estimated to produce 250,000 electrochemical units (ECU's) annually will now be designed for a capacity of up to 350,000 ECU's annually. This new plant is consistent with Westlake's vertical integration strategy for its vinyls business and will allow the company to expand and optimize the vinyls chain over time.

The construction costs for this chlor-alkali facility are estimated to range between $370 to $420 million. Site work is currently underway for this new facility and the project is targeted for start-up in the second half of 2013. The project will be partially funded by the Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds issued by the company. 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.

About Westlake Chemical Corporation

Westlake Chemical Corporation is an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and building products with headquarters in Houston, Texas. The company's range of products includes: ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, propylene, caustic, VCM, PVC resin and PVC building products including PVC pipe, windows and fence.

Forward-looking statements

The statements in this release relating to the 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, 2010, which was filed in February 2011.

Source: Westlake

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