Plans underway for new petrochemical plant

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Governor Bobby Jindal joined lake area leaders Thursday morning to announce plans to construct the world's first commercial ethylene tetramerization unit in the world. The expansion translates into dozens of new jobs and could provide a major economic boost to the area.

The facility is expected to produce more than 100,000 metric tons a year of combined 1-octene and 1-hexene, which are chemicals used to make plastics used in food packaging, bags, toys, and other items.

Governor Jindal said Lake Charles beat out Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle east for this first ever facility. The facility will be located inside Sasol's existing Lake Charles Chemical Complex.

Jindal added Sasol is investing around $175 million in the expanded facility.  The plans could bring 36 new direct jobs and 12 contract jobs.

"That will create more jobs for our children so they can pursue their dreams without leaving home," said Jindal.

In addition to increased expanding the workforce, the expansion will also boost tax revenue dollars to $8.5 million to the lake area and up to $12 million for the state.

"This means we're not only strengthening the chemical industry in southwest Louisiana but we're also providing a boost to the local economy through increasing the revenues for schools, roads, universities and other important programs," said Jindal.

Construction of the new facility will begin in 2011, and the plant is expected to reach beneficial operation by 2013.

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