Shintech advances plan for ethylene plant in Louisiana

Shintech Inc., the US subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., Tokyo, is moving forward with its plan to build a grassroots ethylene production plant in Louisiana’s Iberville Parish.

The ethylene plant, which is to be built on land the company already owns in Plaquemine, La., will have a production capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year and require an investment of about $1.4 billion to be financed by the company’s own funds, said Chihiro Kanagawa, Shintech’s chairman and founder.

Shintech already has let a contract to Toyo Engineering Corp. for the bulk of construction work on the ethylene plant, which will use ethylene process technologies provided by Lummus Technology US Inc., the company said.

Construction of the ethylene plant, the first ever to be built in the US by a Japanese operator, is due to be completed during first-half 2018, Shintech said.

The decision to build the ethylene plant comes as part of Shintech’s strategy to further strengthen its integrated production processes for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) by assuring its existing PVC operations a reliable supply of ethylene, a primary raw material in the production of PVC, Kanagawa said.

The company, which owns PVC operations in Texas and Louisiana, currently is expanding its production capacities of PVC, vinyl chloride monomer, and electrolysis in Louisiana.

This latest announcement follows Shintech’s application last year to the Louisiana Department of Environment Quality for a permit to build the proposed plant (OGJ Online, Apr. 16, 2014).

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kanagawa initially laid the groundwork for the Louisiana expansion during the governor’s 2014 economic development mission to Asia, according to an Apr. 22 release from the Louisiana Economic Development.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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