press release

Chevron Press Release - Chevron Chemical Co. Announces Marietta Chemical Plant Expansion

HOUSTON, Feb. 14, 1996 -- Chevron Chemical Company's U.S. chemicals division today announced the construction of a 250-million-pound expansion at its polystyrene plant in Marietta, Ohio.

The expansion, which is in excess of $50 million, will utilize Chevron's proprietary low-volatile, high-heat crystal polystyrene technology and will also upgrade the capacity of several high-impact polystrene operations. The project is targeted for an April 1997 start up.

The additional capacity will make the Marietta site one of the largest polystyrene plants in North America, with a capacity of 800 million pounds. In 1995 the Marietta plant debottlenecked several operations, increasing its current polystyrene capacity to 550 million pounds.

Chevron's styrenic polymers business group also completed other capital projects in 1995, leading to improvements in product application and product development processes.

A state-of-the-art pilot plant has been in operation at Marietta since March 1995. The pilot plant unit models the styrenic polymers technology and has the capability for enhanced process and product development work. The new pilot plant expands Chevron's capabilities to customize styrenic resins to meet specific customer requirements. Several products for demanding packaging applications that require increased environmental stress crack resistance, increased translucency, lower volatiles, and improved processability are under development. Also, the addition of these technical resources will enable Chevron to accelerate the expansion of its Valtra(R) product line of high-gloss, high-impact styrenic polymers.

In May 1995, Chevron completed construction of a Product Applications Laboratory, also located at Marietta. The laboratory and office complex expands the capabilities to test new resins and to produce fabricated parts to meet the demands of the growing styrenic polymers marketplace. The laboratory provides fabrication processes for injection molding, multi-layer co-extrusion, compounding and thermoforming. Also housed in the facility is a section devoted to analytical equipment designed to determine polymer properties and rubber morphology.

"Chevron is committed to our polystyrene customers to develop new products and applications for their future needs with these investments in technology and our Marietta expansion project," said Ed Kura, vice president and general manager of the U.S. chemicals division.

"Also, our previous expansions in styrene monomer at St. James, La., and our Aromax(R) benzene operations at Pascagoula, Miss., strengthen our total styrenics chain," Kura continued. "These investments support our efforts to be the leader in aromatics and derivatives. They enhance our ability to be a more efficient and reliable supplier to all our customers."

Updated: February 1996