HOUSTON (ICIS)--Japan’s Shin-Etsu Chemical said on Tuesday that its US-based Shintech subsidiary has begun construction on the first phase of a new integrated plant to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC) at Plaquemine, Louisiana.
The project, next to Shintech's existing PVC plant in Plaquemine, will in its first phase add annual capacities for 640m lb (290,000 tonnes) of PVC and 270,000 tonnes of caustic soda, Shin-Etsu said.
Completion of the $1.49bn investment is targeted for the end of 2020.
ICIS reported last year that Shintech had filed for a permit to expand PVC production at Plaquemine to 2.215bn lb/year from 1.400bn lb/year
In a statement of Tuesday, Shin-Etsu added that the expansion was driven by the availability of feedstocks from US shale gas and shale oil.
Since completing in 2008 its PVC plant in Plaquemine, Shintech expanded and raised production capacity three times and it is building an ethylene plant as well, Shin-Etsu said.
The company added that global PVC capacity was lagging demand, a trend that was expected to continue.
Likewise, global caustic soda demand had recently been outpacing supply, and this trend was also expected to continue, the company said.
In related news, a US local media outlet reported that the general contractor for Shintech’s ethylene plant project in Plaquemine canceled two contracts with a technology provider because of cost overruns. ICIS could not immediately confirm this report.
The original contract for the ethylene plant had been awarded back in 2015 to Japanese petrochemicals engineer Toyo.