Major improvements coming to SABIC in Mt. Vernon - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Major improvements coming to SABIC in Mt. Vernon

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Improvements are coming to SABIC Innovative Plastics in Mt. Vernon. 

Company officials say the investments at the site will benefit the business' customers through efficient and reliable production, and the local community with the anticipated creation of between 150 and 200 temporary construction jobs over two and a half years.

The first investment involves the production of a state-of-the-art cogeneration (CoGen) plant that will use natural gas to create a majority of the steam for the site. Currently, coal boilers power 40 percent of the site's steam.

The EPA recently issued new Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standards for industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers. Innovative Plastics is building a CoGen plant that addresses the EPA standards and offers an economical and sustainable solution by leveraging the long-term supply of natural gas.

The CoGen plant is expected to reduce the Mt. Vernon facility's greenhouse gas intensity, which includes GHG from the site and from electricity used from the regional grid, by 35 - 40 percent compared to a 2010 baseline.

The GHG intensity savings are equivalent to removing more than 110,000 passenger vehicles from the road annually.

In addition, the CoGen plant is expected to enhance the plant's energy efficiency, helping reduce costs over the long-term.

The second investment, which is designed to streamline the efficiency of the chemical production process, will reduce energy intensity, and promotes safety and sustainability. The new technology is expected to operate 20-30 percent more efficiently than the current technology, using less steam and electricity, further increasing the Mt. Vernon site's competitive position.

Officials say that, additionally, this significant investment will enable the site to reduce its GHG intensity. The new technology is expected to be completed in 2015 and, compared to a 2010 baseline, is expected to reduce GHG intensity equivalent to removing nearly 3,000 passenger vehicles from the road annually.

"In a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive global market, our business strives to be innovative, efficient, and sustainable in everything that we do. We place a substantial amount of time and resources into creating worldclass manufacturing operations that use state-of-the-art technology to deliver on our customer commitments. SABIC's Innovative Plastics business continuously adapts and improves our business processes, and makes appropriate investments to ensure competitiveness over the long-term," said Mike Walsh vice president of manufacturing for SABIC's Innovative Plastics business. "These investments demonstrate the business' commitment to being the preferred supplier of engineering thermoplastics, while continuing to pursue its ambitious sustainability objectives."

The Mt. Vernon site is SABIC's largest U.S. manufacturing facility employing approximately 1,200 employees. The site began operations in 1960 producing one product – LEXAN™ resin.

Officials say that continued investments in the site over the years have turned it into a best-in-class SABIC facility with expanded manufacturing capabilities to produce core and speciality products.

"The Innovative Plastics business is committed to investing in its operations at the Mt. Vernon site which benefits customers and the local community. The investments we're announcing today are the largest in the Mt. Vernon facility in 30 years, and are in-line with our commitment as a business to serving our customers, and supporting the communities where we operate. Significant investments like these position the site for continued growth and competitiveness," said Joe Castrale, Mount Vernon plant manager for SABIC's Innovative Plastics business.

Next Steps Detailed design, construction, and environmental plans for both investments are being created. The business will then work with local, state and federal officials to obtain the appropriate regulatory approvals in order to begin construction.

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