Westlake Increases Investment at Calvert Plant
By WestKyStar Staff
CALVERT CITY, KY - Governor Steve Beshear Tuesday announced Westlake Chemical Corporation will increase the scope of its investment for its Calvert City operations by as much as $210 to $240 million.
“This is an outstanding step forward for Westlake and a tremendous boost for the economy of Calvert City and the surrounding area,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kentucky has built a partnership with Westlake and we’re thrilled to see this multi-million dollar investment in the Commonwealth.”
Westlake Chemical is an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and building products for use in making everyday items such as packaging, plastic wrap, tires, and PVC pipes, windows and fencing. Employing more than 2,000 people, Westlake operates 15 locations in North America, as well as one location in China. Westlake’s operations in Calvert City have approximately 400 employees and have been in operation at the site for 22 years.
“This investment further confirms the importance of the Calvert City operations and our commitment to building a strong and successful site,” said Westlake Chemical Corporation’s President and CEO Albert Chao. “We again extend our appreciation to Gov. Beshear and his administration, along with our supplier partners, for their continued support of our future in Kentucky and helping us to remain competitive at the site.”
The increased investment in Calvert City includes expanding ethylene production capacity and converting its feedstock from propane to ethane to leverage low cost ethane being developed in regional shale gas areas. Additionally, PVC resin capacity will be increased to meet the growing demands of global customers. The projects are expected to be completed by late 2014.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has preliminarily approved tax incentives up to $10 million, with an additional $7 million pending approval through the Kentucky Reinvestment Act (KRA). KRA is designed to assist companies that need to make significant capital investment in Kentucky facilities in order to remain competitive.
“I am always pleased to welcome an increased investment in our community,” said Sen. Bob Leeper, of Paducah, “But it is particularly special when we see a hometown business, such as Westlake, grow and succeed.”
“This is incredibly great news that says a lot about Westlake Chemical’s commitment to our region and our second-to-none workforce,” said Rep. Will Coursey, of Symsonia. “It’s something we’ll be talking about for years to come. I want to thank the company for taking such a major step forward with this investment, and I appreciate the cooperation and hard work from our state and local officials that helped to make this happen. Christmas has come early for Calvert City.”
“More investment at the Westlake facility in Calvert City is great news,” said Calvert City Mayor Lynn Jones. “It is always great to hear of increasing financial investment – a testimony of trust for the employees and a vote of confidence for Calvert City. The Westlake team’s investment in our community comes in many ways, but none more important than their ongoing efforts in environmental stewardship and their support of Calvert City’s Green Team initiative. I’m proud Westlake calls Calvert City home and I appreciate all they do for us.”
“It gives me tremendous pleasure to hear of Westlake Chemical's continued investment in their location at Calvert City,” said Marshall County Judge-Executive Mike Miller. “Westlake's confidence in Marshall County's community and workforce continues to make us globally attractive while making Westlake globally competitive in their production. Congratulations to Westlake and their employees at this great news.”