With the ongoing natural gas boom in North America, Westlake Chemical Corp. plans to invest spend $40 million on improvements to its ethylene feedstock operations in Calvert City, supporting the retention of 380 Kentucky jobs. The company plans to perform a major modification of ethylene furnaces that will ultimately reduce costs, improve operating efficiency and consume less energy. The modifications are expected to be completed by mid-2013. Westlake Chemical Corporation is an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and building products with headquarters in Houston, Texas. The company's Westlake Vinyl subsidiary, located on Industrial Parkway in Calvert City, has been operating for 21 years. The company has indicated that without assistance of tax incentives, the improvements in both process and technology would not have been economically feasible and the alternative would be to produce additional ethylene at a sister plant out of state.
"For over 21 years, Westlake Chemical Corporation has been proud to be a corporate citizen of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and an active member of the local community in and around Calvert City," said Westlake Chemical Corporation's President and CEO Albert Chao. "Our Calvert operations are an important part of our overall business strategy, and we remain committed to building a strong and successful future at the site."
To encourage the investment in Calvert City, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Westlake for tax incentives up to US$10 mln through the Kentucky Reinvestment Act (KRA). KRA is designed to assist companies that need to make significant capital investment in Kentucky facilities in order to remain competitive.