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Plastics and Polymers

Dow Boosts Plastics Business in the US

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

Dow operations in Freeport, Texas, where the company plans further world–scale investments.
Dow operations in Freeport, Texas, where the company plans further world–scale investments. (Picture: Dow)

Is the re–industrialisation of the US at hand?Chemicals giant Dow follows the trail of the shale gas boom and plans several new Performance Plastics production plants on the Gulf Coast. Low–cost feedstock and energy from natural gas has attracted huge investments in the region...

Midland, Michigan/USA – “These new facilities will include a wide range of technologies that will produce differentiated, high performance materials for the fastest growing segments in Dow’s existing markets, while providing access to new markets and applications,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow Executive Vice President. “These investments are also aimed at businesses that have consistently delivered a higher return on capital, which is clearly aligned with our long-term strategy. This, coupled with an enhanced market and value chain focus in our high value Performance Plastics franchise, will deliver faster growth with lower earnings volatility.”

Production Units Enter FEED Phase

The new facilities are in the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase that will be completed in 2014. These facilities will manufacture competitively advantaged materials for several of the Company’s fastest growing market segments, including Packaging; Hygiene and Medical; Electrical and Telecommunications; Transportation, Sports and Leisure and Consumer Durables.

The new capacity will be targeted at projected growth in North and South America in addition to select export opportunities over the coming decade. Dow is currently exploring specific location options on the U.S. Gulf Coast, with final investment locations to be determined at a later date.

Specific production units include the following:

  • Previously announced Next Generation Nordel metallocene Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) for Transportation, Infrastructure, Electrical & Telecommunications;
  • High Melt Index (HMI) Elastomers for Dow’s Affinity brand of Hot Melt Adhesives;
  • Elite Enhanced Polyethylene for high performance flexible packaging and hygiene & medical applications;
  • Specialty Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) to serve demand growth in packaging and electrical & telecommunications market segments.

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