Shintech Inc., a North American unit of Japan's Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., plans to spend $1.4 billion on new ethylene production capacity in Plaquemine, LA. Shintech operates plants in Plaquemine and Addis, LA, that chiefly produce polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, and vinyl chloride monomer, or VCM, the key ingredient from which PVC plastics are made. The latest expansion would include installation of an ethane cracker at the Plaquemine complex and capital upgrades to connect ethylene output to VCM and PVC production there. Shintech is near completion of an incremental expansion of its VCM, PVC and caustic soda capacity in Iberville Parish, while an affiliated company, SE Tylose, is building a plant at the Plaquemine site to produce hydroxyethyl cellulose, or HEC, a component of latex paints. Shintech expects to break ground on the project during the second quarter, with completion slated for the first half of 2018.