FREEPORT, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) today announced the completion of the construction phase of its new ELITE™ enhanced polyethylene production facility in Freeport, Texas.
Completed on time, the 400,000 metric ton polyethylene unit is the first of four new derivative investments currently under way at Dow’s manufacturing sites in Texas and Louisiana as part of the company’s previously announced $6 billion expansion on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
“This milestone further reflects the steady progress our teams are making to bring these multi-phased investments online to enhance our cost-advantaged integration and industry-leading innovation,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow’s president and chief operating officer. “Taken together, these investments represent the industry's broadest and most differentiated derivative slate, fueled by Dow's proprietary catalyst and process technologies, and will deliver enhanced products and technologies for our customers while enabling higher quality growth for our shareholders.”
The production unit now enters its commissioning and start-up phase in sequence with the mid-year start-up of Dow’s 1.5 million metric ton world-scale ethylene facility. The plant is expected to ramp up during the third quarter and be fully operational in the fourth quarter. Designed with Dow’s proprietary Solution process technology, the unit will produce ELITE™ enhanced polyethylene resins, known for their versatility and high performance attributes in multiple types of flexible packaging applications for food, personal hygiene products and industrial packaging.
“The mechanical completion of our first new polyethylene unit is yet another milestone that brings us closer to having more volume to meet growing customer demand globally,” said Diego Donoso, business president for Dow’s Packaging and Specialty Plastics business. “As with our ethylene production facility, the Dow team safely delivered the project on time. This is yet another example of Dow’s ability to deliver on our commitments to generate value for our customers, shareholders and employees.”
Dow’s other three derivative units along with a planned debottleneck are proceeding on schedule and are staged to come online throughout 2017 and 2018.
- New specialty low density polyethylene for industrial and supply chain packaging applications (Capacity: 350 KTA), which is also expected to come online in coordination with the cracker;
- Next Generation NORDEL™ metallocene EPDM to deliver solutions for higher-margin applications for the transportation, infrastructure and consumer durables end-markets (Capacity: 200 KTA), expected to startup in early 2018;
- Bi-modal gas phase de-bottleneck to enable more offerings for high-performance pipe and fitting applications, as well as the cap and closure market (125 KTA), to follow later in 2018;
- High Melt Index Specialty and Conventional Polyolefin Elastomers for high-performance flexible packaging, transportation and consumer markets (Capacity: 320 KTA), expected to come online in late 2018.
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from material, polymer, chemical and biological science to help address many of the world's most challenging problems, such as the need for fresh food, safer and more sustainable transportation, clean water, energy efficiency, more durable infrastructure, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven portfolio delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in 175 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, infrastructure, transportation, consumer care, electronics, and agriculture. In 2016, Dow had annual sales of $48 billion and employed approximately 56,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 7,000 product families are manufactured at 189 sites in 34 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.
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