Today’s dedication of our membrane unit represents a significant investment in our future,” said Jon Manns, PPG Lake Charles plant manager. “The $100 million project positions PPG for success in the increasingly competitive global chemicals market as well as long-term sustainability.” The new membrane cell production unit is expected to yield about the same capacity that the previous technology did, Manns said, but it will use 25 percent less electricity.He added that the conversion to using membrane technology helps the facility reduce maintenance and operating costs, and aligns with the company’s goals for strong environmental performance.
The construction project involved more than 250 workers – employees both of PPG and of six contract companies – working more than 450,000 hours to complete the task, with no federal Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable injuries.
“The successful start-up of the membrane unit resulted from the cooperative effort of our project team, contractors and management, who took it from the drawing board to full operation in just two years,” Manns said. “It’s this type of teamwork that makes PPG a leader in the global chemicals industry.”
PPG’s manufacturing complex in Lake Charles is the largest chemicals manufacturing facility in Southwest Louisiana, the largest facility within PPG, and a major producer of chlor-alkali products. The plant currently provides jobs for about 1,300 full-time employees.
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company employs more than 34,000 people and has 125 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates in more than 25 countries. Sales in 2006 were $11 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York and Philadelphia stock exchanges (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.
Betsy Mallison Bialosky