Sasol breaks ground on multi-billion dollar complex

Published: Mar. 27, 2015 at 2:39 PM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2015 at 2:39 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) - Sasol broke ground on its $8.1 billion ethane cracker complex Friday morning.

Local and state lawmakers joined company officials for the groundbreaking event at the site in Westlake.

The new complex will include an ethane cracker and six chemical manufacturing plants, which will be built near Sasol's existing facilities. The company said the project will roughly triple its chemical production capacity.

"By the time construction is complete in 2018, Sasol's investment will total almost $9 billion, making it one of the largest investments in our company's history," said Steve Cornell, Sasol's Executive Vice President of International Operations. "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."

Sasol has said the full-time positions will have an average annual salary of $88,000, plus benefits. The Louisiana Economic Development estimated the project will result in 2,395 new indirect jobs.

In addition to the $8.1 billion capital investment for the petrochemical complex, Sasol said will spend $800 million for infrastructure improvement, land acquisition and utility improvement costs at the site.

Westlake Mayor Bob Hardy said people are coming from all over area to work here, and his city has become the land of milk and honey.

Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President Nic Hunter said Southwest Louisiana is experiencing an economic renaissance. He said we are bringing back people home, people who moved away seeking opportunity.

House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, said it is an exciting time for Southwest Louisiana.

Kleckley also said Sasol's large investment has put the area on the map.

KPLC's Theresa Schmidt will have more on later editions.

Copyright 2015 KPLC. All rights reserved.