Lotte Chemical Corp said on Thursday that it expects that its U.S. ethane cracker will start commercial operations in Louisiana in May.
The U.S. ethane cracker from Lotte Chemical is a joint venture with Axiall Corp, now merged with Westlake Corp. In the plant, Lotte owns 88 percent, while the rest is held by Westlake Corp.
The $ 3.1 billion project built in approximately 250 acres will produce 1 million tonnes of ethylene a year.
The cheaper U.S. shale gas can be an advantage for Lotte as ethane crackers use ethane gas as a feedstock unlike its naphtha crackers in South Korea which use naphtha.
This brings Lotte’s global ethylene output capacity to 4.5 million tonnes, the statement added.