Westlake plans ethylene expansion at Kentucky plant

Westlake Chemical Partners LP, a subsidiary of Westlake Chemical Corp., Houston, has approved plans to boost ethylene production at affiliate Westlake Chemical OpCo LP’s (OpCo) 630 million-lb/year (286,000 tonne/year) plant at Calvert City, Ky.

The planned capacity expansion and debottlenecking project, which will add 70 million lb/year (31,800 tpy) of stated ethylene capacity at Calvert City, is scheduled to be completed during first-half 2017, Westlake said.

Combined with other incremental capacity increases, the expansion will result in a total capacity gain of 100 million lb/year (45,400 tpy) at Calvert City, said Albert Chao, Westlake’s president and chief executive officer.

The Kentucky expansion follows Westlake’s previously announced plan to increase ethylene production by about 250 million lb/year (113,400 tpy) at OpCo’s Petro 1 (P1) ethylene plant at Sulphur, La., near Lake Charles (OGJ Online, Nov. 18, 2014).

The expanded P1 plant is due for startup in second-quarter 2016, Chao said.

In April 2014, Westlake completed a conversion and expansion project at Calvert City (OGJ Online, Oct. 2, 2012) that switched the plant from propane to low-cost ethane feedstock and increased ethylene production by 180 million lb/year (81,600 tpy), the company confirmed in its latest annual report to investors.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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