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Westlake Expanding Kentucky Ethylene Capacity

Westlake Chemical Partners LP said it is proceeding with plans to expand ethylene production capacity at its Calvert City, KY, facility.

The expansion will add 70 million pounds of annual ethylene capacity at the facility during the first half of 2017.

"This expansion, which combined with incremental capacity increases will total 100 million pounds of annual capacity, is in addition to the 250 million pound ethylene expansion at the Petro 1 facility in Lake Charles, LA, which is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2016," said CEO Albert Chao.

Westlake announced the Lake Charles expansion in fall 2014 (see Daily GPIOct. 23, 2014).

Additional production at the Kentucky and Louisiana facilities is to be sold under long-term, fixed-margin agreements, the vast majority going to Westlake Chemical Corp. The price was established to generate a margin of 10 cents per pound, Chao said.

The company did not respond to an inquiry about increased ethane feedstock demand at the Calvert City facility. New and expanded ethane facilities have been benefiting from abundant and cheap supplies of natural gas and ethane (see Daily GPIDec. 18, 2015).

Houston-based Westlake Chemical Partners is a limited partnership formed by Westlake Chemical Corp. to operate, acquire and develop facilities for the processing of natural gas liquids as well as other qualifying activities. The partnership owns a 13.3% interest in Westlake Chemical OpCo LP, whose assets include three facilities in Calvert City and Lake Charles that process ethane and propane into ethylene, and an ethylene pipeline.

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