Company reports significant progress on its pledge to hire Louisiana workers and use Louisiana contractors, suppliers and vendors for its Southwest Louisiana mega project
Westlake, Louisiana – Sasol today released a status update on its $8.9 billion ethane cracker and derivatives complex and the company’s progress toward its Louisiana First strategy, nearly one year after announcing final investment decision.
“We are delivering on our commitment to hire Louisiana workers and use Louisiana businesses first for our contracting and procurement needs,” said Mike Thomas, senior vice president of Sasol North American Operations. “A local workforce and contractor support team with experience and strong ties to our community adds considerable value to our operations and helps strengthen the local economy.”
There are job opportunities available in both the operational and construction phases of the project. Of the more than 500 full-time, Sasol positions to operate the new ethane cracker and derivative units, Sasol has hired more than 200, including operators, processors, engineers, laboratory analysts, chemists as well as operations and maintenance personnel. Close to eighty percent of these new hires are from Calcasieu Parish; the majority of the remaining hires are from other cities in Louisiana.
Of the 5,000 temporary construction phase positions, approximately 3,300 workers are on site today through eight major Louisiana construction contractors and Fluor Technip Integrated.
Sasol appointed eight major Louisiana-based contractors to support construction of its ethane cracker and derivatives project, reflecting a commitment of more than $2.5 billion in contracts to Louisiana businesses to date.
Sasol has spent more than $250 million with Louisiana suppliers for materials and equipment, more than $70 million of which is with Calcasieu Parish suppliers.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Sasol has expended nearly $4 million over the last three years in education, workforce development and small business development signature initiatives. Examples include a regional impact study; scholarships for craft and skills for Westlake and Mossville residents; resource guides for residents and businesses with information about how to get a job and work with area industry; and science, technology, engineering and math programs within local schools to prepare our youngest community members for quality careers. For more information about Sasol’s Corporate Social Responsibility investments, visit SasolNorthAmerica.com/louisiana-first/.
Early works activities, site preparation and civil construction work have been under way since 2014. On-site concrete batch plants are operational and internal haul routes are complete, eliminating a significant amount of off-site public road use for material delivery and earthmoving activities. Site aboveground work and heavy equipment deliveries began this fall.
The first phase of the heavy haul route strengthening project is complete, and widening work is under way with the first Sasol heavy haul transports planned for early December. Other infrastructure improvements will be performed over the next several months throughout the city of Westlake and surrounding areas as agreed with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. The heavy haul route work and other infrastructure improvement projects, including a significant amount of new water, sewer and gas line infrastructure for the city of Westlake along the heavy haul route, represent an investment of more than $40 million with $35 million in the city of Westlake alone.
Mechanical, electrical and instrumentation work are scheduled to begin in 2016 and continue throughout 2017. Sasol expects the facility to begin a phased commissioning in 2017, with full plant operation expected in 2018.
Ethane “cracking” is the process of converting molecules of ethane extracted from natural gas into ethylene, one of the building blocks of the petrochemical industry. The facility will produce approximately 1.5 million tons of ethylene per year. The ethylene will be used in six new downstream derivative plants to produce a range of high-value derivatives used in everyday products such as synthetic fibers, detergents, fragrances, paints, film and packaging.