Sasol has started construction on it $8.1 billion ethane cracker complex in Calcasieu Parish.

The ethane cracker complex will include six chemical manufacturing plants, to be built near Sasol’s existing Westlake facilities. The project will roughly triple Sasol’s chemical production capacity in the United States.

Site preparation and civil construction work have been underway since 2014.

Sasol will create 500 direct new jobs with an average annual salary of $88,000, plus benefits. Louisiana’s economic development department estimates the project will result in 2,395 new indirect jobs. The company estimates 5,000 construction jobs will be generated by the project. Completion is expected in 2018.

The facility will produce about 1.5 million tons of ethylene per year used in the six chemical plants to produce a range of derivatives used in making products such as synthetic fibers, detergents, fragrances, paints, film and packaging.

Sasol announced in January that it is delaying a final investment decision on a $14 billion gas-to-liquids plant to conserve cash in response to lower oil prices. The company said it would continue to advance the GTL facility at a slower pace as it evaluates the possibility of phasing in that project.