Dow Chemical Co.â€™s world-scale ethylene production facility in Freeport, TX has completed its construction which began in 2014. Project completion was reached within one week of the original projection. The ethylene unit is in commissioning and expected to enter operation by mid-year, the company said.
The Freeport ethylene unit is the cornerstone of their $6 billion investment in the U.S. Gulf Coast, said Dow CEO Andrew Liveris. Their growth investments leverage the advantaged shale gas supply available in the U.S., and represent thousands of new jobs and significant economic value, including exports of approximately 20% of their U.S. production.
The production unit has a nameplate capacity of 1.5 million metric tons and is a â€œcentral componentâ€ of the companyâ€™s Gulf Coast investment program, designed to strengthen the competitiveness of its downstream, consumer-led businesses.
It will feed Dowâ€™s derivative investments coming online throughout 2017 and 2018, which include enhanced polyethylene for high-performance flexible food packaging and personal hygiene applications; New specialty low-density polyethylene for industrial and supply chain packaging applications; Next Generation â€œNORDELâ€ metallocene EPDM (a type of synthetic rubber) for applications in the transportation, infrastructure and consumer durables end-markets; High melt index specialty and conventional polyolefin elastomers for high-performance flexible packaging, transportation and consumer markets; and Bimodal gas phase de-bottleneck to enable more offerings for high-performance pipe and fitting applications, as well as the cap and closure market.
Not only does this investment leverage Dowâ€™s early-mover advantage in shale gas, but it will also fuel the industryâ€™s broadest and most differentiated derivatives slate, featuring Dowâ€™s proprietary catalyst and process technologies, to meet growing consumer demand throughout the Americas, Dow COO Jim Fitterling said.
The ethylene unit would bolster the companyâ€™s activities in the packaging, transportation, infrastructure and consumer care markets. Dowâ€™s Freeport site now has more than 4 million metric tons of olefins capacity, said Doug May, president of the hydrocarbons business.
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