Lotte Chemical USA (Lake Charles, La.; www.lottechem.com) and Westlake Chemical Corp. (Houston, Tex.; www.westlake.com) hosted an official opening ceremony on May 9, 2019, for their joint-venture Ethylene and the Lotte Chemical world-scale Ethylene Glycol (EG) Production Facility near Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The complex is a $3.1 billion project, which broke ground in June 2016, and will include an ethane-cracker plant, a joint venture between Lotte Chemical and Westlake Chemical, and the ethylene glycol plant. The combined site encompasses approximately 250 acres.
“Among Korean petrochemical companies, Lotte Chemical is the first to locate a project in the U.S.; as such, this project represents a significant investment by Lotte Chemical,” said Jinkoo Hwang, Lotte Chemical USA president and chief executive officer. “Today also marks the opening of our new corporate headquarters in Lake Charles, and we are very excited to be part of the industrial growth in the region.”
“Westlake Chemical Corporation is pleased to be a joint-venture partner with Lotte Chemical, a leading global petrochemical company, in LACC, a state-of-the-art ethylene facility. This is the seventh Westlake operation in Louisiana,” said Albert Chao, Westlake Chemical Corporation president and chief executive officer. “This new ethylene facility marks another phase of Westlake’s continued investment in the state, where the company is proud to be a long-established petrochemical producer and member of the community. Ethylene from this new plant will further enhance the value of Westlake’s integration strategy.”
The new chemical facilities are expected to have a lasting positive economic impact on Southwest Louisiana, adding a combined total of 250 new direct jobs with very attractive salaries, plus benefits. According to the Louisiana Economic Development office, as a result of this project, approximately 2,000 indirect jobs have also been created in the community.
“Southwest Louisiana continues to lead the state – and our nation – in capital investment and job growth, and this new complex by Lotte Chemical and Westlake Chemical represents a major contribution to our expanding economy,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “The combined capital investment of more than $3 billion by these companies demonstrates that Louisiana can successfully compete on the global stage when it comes to attracting world-scale business investment. With 250 new permanent jobs here at the ethane cracker, MEG plant and Lotte USA headquarters, we’re providing amazing career opportunities for a new generation of industrial workers and their families.”
Louisiana faced tough competition from other states for the projects. The final site was chosen due to the advantage of existing infrastructure, including access to competitive feedstock resources, pipeline, rail and water shipping access and a talented and trained workforce.
Lotte Chemical’s EG plant began production of monoethylene glycol, commonly called MEG, in January of this year. MEG is an important ingredient in the making of paper, textile fibers, latex paints, asphalt, resins, antifreeze, coolants and adhesives. With an annual capacity of 700,000 metric tons, the new facility is now the largest MEG plant in the world.
Lotte Chemical is a member of the Lotte Group in Korea, which has been listed on the Korean Stock Exchange since 1991. Lotte Chemical is a leading manufacturer of petrochemical products, such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene, polyethylene, polypropylene, ethylene oxide/glycol, compound resin, polyethylene terephthalate, polycarbonate, methyl methacrylate, ethylene oxide derivatives, benzene, toluene, mixed xylene, purified terephthalic acid and purified isophthalic acid, among others. Lotte Chemical, headquartered in Seoul, has manufacturing facilities located throughout South Korea, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, the U.K. and the U.S.
Westlake Chemical Corporation is an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and building products with headquarters in Houston. The company’s range of products includes ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, propylene, chlor-alkali and derivative products, PVC suspension and specialty resins, PVC compounds, and PVC building products including siding, pipe, fittings and specialty components, windows, fence, deck and film.
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