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Westlake Chemical will increase ethylene capacity at its facility in Lake Charles

April 06/2011

(ICIS) -- Westlake Chemical will increase ethane-based ethylene capacity at its facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in the US as part of a strategy to capitalise on new low-cost ethane and other "light" feedstocks being developed in North America, it said on Tuesday.

Each of Westlake's two light feedstock ethylene crackers in Lake Charles will be expanded in order to provide ethylene for existing internal derivatives units and the merchant market, the US polyethylene (PE) and vinyls producer said in a statement.

The first cracker expansion will increase capacity by approximately 230m-240m lbs/year (104 -109 KTa), while also increasing feedstock flexibility, Westlake said.

Current capacity of the crackers are 590 KTa and 544 KTa, according to ICIS. Westlake did not specify which cracker will be expanded first.

The first project is expected to be completed by late 2012 and the second expansion concluded by the end of 2014. No further capacity details were disclosed.

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