Westlake Chemical to Begin Phased Start-Up of Geismar PVC Operations

Westlake Chemical to Begin Phased Start-Up of Geismar PVC Operations

HOUSTON, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE: WLK) announced today that it is planning for a phased start-up of its vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) facilities in Geismar, Louisiana. Westlake acquired these facilities from Borden Chemical in December 2002 and has been operating the ethylene dichloride (EDC) portion of the plant since November 2003.

The VCM and PVC plants each have an estimated rated capacity of 600 million pounds per annum. The PVC plant is comprised of two trains. The first phase of the start-up will be on one of the trains with approximately 300 million pounds of PVC capacity per annum. This added capacity will be used in part to meet merchant PVC demand as well as internal demand for PVC resin as a result of the company's recent acquisition of three PVC pipe plants from Bristolpipe Corporation.

In addition to a graduated start up of the PVC operations, the company will also be investing in additional capacity in the EDC unit at Geismar. This capacity increase is expected to expand total EDC capacity by an estimated 25%.

It is currently estimated that the first phase start-up will commence in 2005. All future phases, if any, will be determined by market conditions at the time.

Westlake Chemical Corporation is a vertically integrated international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and fabricated products with headquarters in Houston, Texas. The company's range of products includes ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, EDC, VCM, PVC and PVC pipe and PVC windows, fence and decking components. More information about the company may be found at http://www.westlakechemical.com .

The statements in this release relating to matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially, based on factors including, but not limited to: the cyclical nature of the chemical industry; availability, cost and volatility of raw materials and utilities; governmental regulatory actions and political unrest; global economic conditions; industry production capacity and operating rates; the supply/demand balance for Westlake's products; competitive products and pricing pressures; access to capital markets; technological developments; and other risk factors. For more detailed information about the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, please refer to Westlake's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003, which was filed in March 2004.

SOURCE Westlake Chemical Corporation
09/13/2004
CONTACT: D. R. Hansen, Media, or Graham McArthur, Investor Relations, both of Westlake Chemical Corporation, +1-713-960-9111
Web site: http://www.westlakechemical.com
(WLK)

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