Westlake, Louisiana – Today, Sasol broke ground on its ethane cracker and derivatives mega project near Westlake, a facility that will roughly triple Sasol’s chemical production capacity in the United States.
Mayor Bob Hardey, Westlake city council members, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President Nic Hunter, Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives Chuck Kleckley and more than 100 community partners joined Sasol executives today to mark the start of construction for the company’s world-scale facility.
“By the time construction is complete in 2018, Sasol’s investment will total almost 9 billion dollars, making it one of the largest investments in our company’s history,” said Steve Cornell, Executive Vice President of International Operations for Sasol. “Along the way, we’ll create more than 5,000 construction jobs and more than 500 full-time positions, 100 of which have already been filled.”
The end result will be a state-of-the-art petrochemical complex that uses abundant U.S. ethane to manufacture a diverse slate of commodity and specialty chemicals for markets around the world.
Early works activities, site preparation and civil construction work have been under way since 2014. Site aboveground work and heavy equipment deliveries will begin in 2015 and mechanical, electrical and instrumentation work in 2016 and 2017. Sasol expects the facility will achieve beneficial operation in 2018.
Ethane “cracking” is the process of converting molecules of ethane extracted from natural gas to create 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.
For more information about project progress, visit www.sasolnorthamerica.com