USA: Downstream Products Dow Announces Start-Up of Ethylene and Polyethylene Units
Dow Dupont Materials Science announced the start-up of its new integrated world-scale ethylene production facility and its new Elite enhanced polyethylene production facility, both in Freeport, Texas. Both units will continue to ramp up through the third quarter and are expected to reach full rates in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Midland/USA — The facilities are an integral part of the company’s investments on the US Gulf Coast to meet the demand in core market verticals of packaging, infrastructure and consumer care.
A central component of Dow’s US Gulf Coast investments, the ethylene production facility has an initial nameplate capacity of 1.5 million metric tons. As part of the next wave of growth investments, the unit will be expanded to 2 million metric tons. According to the company, this investment would make it the world’s largest ethylene facility.
The 400,000 metric ton Elite polyethylene production unit is the first of four new derivative units at the company’s manufacturing sites in Texas and Louisiana.
In addition to supporting the manufacturer’s near-term capacity additions, the ethylene facility will also support further planned debottlenecks to unlock additional polyethylene capacity as well as a new world-scale polyethylene unit as part of the company’s growth investments. The remaining derivative assets to come online in the US Gulf Coast include:
• New specialty low density polyethylene (capacity: 350 kta) for industrial and supply chain packaging applications, expected to start-up later this year;
• Nordel metallocene EPDM (capacity: 200 kta) to deliver solutions for higher-margin applications for infrastructure and consumer durables end-markets, expected to startup in early 2018;
• Bi-modal gas phase de-bottleneck (125 kta) for high-performance pipe and fitting applications, as well as the cap and closure market, to follow later in 2018;
• High Melt Index Specialty and Conventional Polyolefin Elastomers (capacity: 320 kta) for high-performance flexible packaging end-markets, expected to come online in late 2018;
• World-scale polyethylene unit based on Dow’s proprietary Solution Process technology (capacity: 600 kta) to meet demand in food and specialty packaging, expected to come online by 2022.