Issue Date: September 8, 2008
Chlorine Capacity To Grow
Commodity chemicals such as ethylene have received little investment in the U.S. recently, but not so for chlorine. Westlake Chemical will spend up to $300 million to build a new chlorine and caustic soda plant at its Geismar, La., site. The plant, which will have annual capacity for 250,000 metric tons of chlorine and 275,000 metric tons of caustic soda, is slated for completion in 2011. The company says the new plant will nearly double its chlorine capacity and further back-integrate its polyvinyl chloride business. The company is also expanding chlorine and PVC capacity in Calvert City, Ky. Shintech, meanwhile, is in the process of starting up the first phase of its new chlor-alkali complex in Plaquemine, La., which will give the company 500,000 metric tons of chlorine and 550,000 metric tons of caustic soda annual capacity, plus new ethylene dichloride, vinyl chloride, and PVC capacity. In addition, Dow Chemical is building a new chlorine plant in Freeport, Texas, but the company will also close other Gulf Coast plants, leading to a net reduction in its capacity there.
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