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Clinton’s LyondellBasell plant celebrates half-century with call for free trade

CLINTON, Iowa -

Inside the new control room at LyondellBasell, workers represent the future.  It's a 24/7 operation that relies on technology, expertise and free trade.

"Free trade is really important for this site and really for our nation," said LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel, on Tuesday, May 1.

The Clinton plant makes polyethylene pellets from natural gas liquids.  Companies use them to make a wide variety of packaging and products.

It's a highly automated process that requires a skilled workforce.

"We greatly appreciate how you remained a stable economic engine for the community and entire region," said Gov. Kim Reynolds, (R) Iowa.

On Tuesday, Gov. Reynolds, Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R) Iowa, and other local, state and federal dignitaries welcomed a $50 million expansion.

For the Houston-based company, it's a strong endorsement for nearly 400 employees and contractors in Clinton.

The plant first opened back in 1968 and has incorporated a half-century of improvements.

"Without the confidence, faith and vision from the city of Clinton, we simply wouldn't be here today," said Clinton Site Manager Jim Hillier.

The new control room, which debuted just a month ago, demonstrates 50 years of change.  Future success requires more skills.  It's all part of the company culture.

"How people really kind of take ownership and pride in their work," Patel concluded.  "They genuinely want to make it better."

That tradition should help LyondellBasell through another 50 years of success.