Westlake's PE project in Trinidad & Tobago stalled by continuing talks with government

USA based Westlake Chemical's planned polyethylene complex in Trinidad scheduled to commence construction by mid 2008, has been stalled. The company continues to be in talks with the Trinidad & Tobago government on a number of key contracts regarding the polyethylene and other derivatives project, to study which the company signed an MOU with the government in 2006. The project, initially estimated to require an investment of US$1.5 bln was planned to be located on a 200 ha site in Savonetta in central Trinidad. The project is designed to use 37,500 bpd of ethane to produce 570,000 tpa of ethylene, which would in turn be used to produce polyethylene and other derivatives. Matters on which government approval is pending are key elements like feedstock and port access, power and water, and other amenities and infrastructure. Delay in relevant clearance has deferred the commencement of construction, costs of which are likely to go up from the original US$1.5 bln on increased costs due to rising price of materials such as metals, steel and copper, wages for skilled tradesmen, transport and shipping costs, and energy. The complex will be project financed with the Trinidad & Tobago government given the option to come in as an equity participant.
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