Sasol completes Lake Charles Chemical Complex with LDPE unit now operational

Sasol’s $12.8 billion Lake Charles Chemicals Complex is now complete, with the low-density polyethylene becoming operational over the weekend.

The LDPE unit is the seventh and final unit to come online, bringing the troubled construction project to an end.

“This milestone safely brings our Lake Charles Chemicals Project to a close and sets the stage for the next step in the evolution of our chemicals business,” Sasol President and Chief Executive Officer Fleetwood Grobler said in making the announcement. “The completion of this unit and its impending transition to our joint venture with LyondellBasell will accelerate our transformation to a more specialty chemicals-focused company with a strong presence of base chemicals in our portfolio.”

Sasol’s LDPE unit uses ExxonMobil technology and has a nameplate capacity of 420,000 tons per year. LDPE is used to manufacture plastic bags, shrink wrap and stretch film, coatings for paper cups and cartons, container lids, squeezable bottles, and other applications. The beneficial operation of the final LCCP unit signals that 100% of total nameplate capacity of the LCCP is operational.

The LDPE unit is one of the three LCCP plants that will form part of the Sasol/LyondellBasell Louisiana Integrated Polyethylene joint venture.

To date, Sasol’s Lake Charles Chemicals Project has generated more than 800 full-time quality manufacturing jobs, with up to 6,500 people on site during construction, $4 billion to Louisiana businesses and nearly $200 million in local and state taxes.