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Grand opening ceremony held for new Louisiana chemical complex

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Lotte Chemical USA and Westlake Chemical Corp. hosted an official opening ceremony on 9 May 2019, for their joint-venture Ethylene and the Lotte Chemical Ethylene Glycol (EG) Production Facility near Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The complex is a US$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 US; as such, this project represents a significant investment by Lotte Chemical,” said Jinkoo Hwang, Lotte Chemical USA President and CEO. “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 CEO. “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 2000 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 US$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 fibres, latex paints, asphalt, resins, antifreeze, coolants and adhesives. With an annual capacity of 700 000 t, the new facility is now the largest MEG plant in the world.

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