US Westlake plans cracker expansions, conversions

02 August 2011 19:30  [Source: ICIS news]

A Westlake cracker in LouisianaHOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based Westlake plans to expand its two crackers in Louisiana as well as convert its Kentucky cracker to use ethane instead of propane, the polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer said on Tuesday.

The first expansion will come in the second half of 2012 at one of the company's crackers in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Then Westlake plans to expand the second Lake Charles cracker in 2014.

Both crackers have a combined ethylene capacity about 1.1m tonnes/year, according to ICIS plants and projects.

Westlake also plans to convert its propane cracker in Calvert City, Kentucky, to crack ethane, said chief executive Albert Chao during the company's second quarter earnings call.

"We're waiting for a Marcellus [shale] pipeline to bring ethane from the Marcellus down to the Gulf Coast," he said. "We hope to tap into those pipelines to bring ethane to Calvert City. Once we convert from propane to ethane, the potential for incremental debottlenecks will add some capacity at Calvert City."

The Calvert City cracker has an ethylene capacity of 195,000 tonnes/year.

For more on Westlake visit ICIS company intelligence
For more on ethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Bobbie Clark
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