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Westlake Chemical to Expand Vinyls Business
Monday October 29, 6:00 am ET

HOUSTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Westlake Chemical Corporation announced today it is enhancing the level of integration in its vinyls segment by expanding its chlor-alkali and PVC resin units and building a large diameter PVC pipe plant, all at the company's Calvert City, KY manufacturing complex.

The expanded chlor-alkali unit will add 50,000 ECU's and bring the company's total capacity to 275,000 ECU's per year. The expansion will improve the vertical integration of Westlake's vinyls business from chlorine downstream into VCM and PVC and increase caustic soda sales once the expansion is completed by the second half of 2009.

The PVC resin plant expansion will increase capacity by 300 million pounds per year bringing the total PVC capacity for Westlake to 1.7 billion pounds annually by the first half of 2009. The expansion will consume VCM which is currently being sold on the merchant market and enhance the integration of the vinyls product chain.

The company has also begun planning for the construction of a new large diameter PVC pipe facility which will have a capacity of approximately 50 million pounds per year of large diameter pipe. Proximity to the company's PVC resin facility and to key merchant markets will allow Westlake to contain cost and to further enhance timely service to customers. The expected completion is in the second half of 2008. This project will bring the company's total annual capacity for PVC pipe to 850 million pounds.

Albert Chao, Westlake's President and CEO stated, "This strategic capital investment, totaling approximately $90 million, will enhance the vertical integration of our business, further strengthen our position in the large diameter pipe market and increase our ability to serve our customers through an improved overall product mix."

Westlake Chemical Corporation (WLK)

Westlake Chemical Corporation is a manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and fabricated products with headquarters in Houston, Texas. The company's range of products includes: ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, propylene, caustic, VCM, PVC and PVC pipe, windows and fence.

Source: Westlake Chemical Corporation

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