- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

WESTLAKE, La. (AP) - A South African company has completed a two-year, $40 million project to get 2.5 miles of state highway and other roads ready for all the truckloads of heavy equipment needed to build an $11 billion plant.

Sasol Ltd. spokeswoman Kim Cusimano calls it a significant milestone.

The American Press (https://bit.ly/2hTsg6a) reports that in addition to the road work, Sasol relocated utilities, signs and fencing, and improved 2.8 miles of drainage. At one intersection, it also installed traffic signals that rotate to let tall equipment to pass through.

Sasol is shipping equipment through the Calcasieu River and then by truck.

Sasol moved in about 230 smaller pieces during road construction and has about 200 larger pieces left, Cusimano said.

The Sasol petrochemical complex will be next to its existing chemical plant.

Construction began in 2014, with plans to open in late 2018 or 2019.

The project was originally budgeted at $8.9 billion, but Sasol had to increase its budget by $2.1 billion this year, Cusimano said. A drop in company profits and low oil prices prompted the company to revisit its budget and timeline. Parts of the project were also pushed back to 2019.

Sasol expects to produce 500 full-time jobs and more than 5,000 construction jobs.

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Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com


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