MIDLAND, Mich. (March 30)—Dow Chemical Co. is putting on hold a plan to build a "world-scale" propylene oxide and styrene monomer plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast, citing a shift in the supply-demand curve for the polyurethane and synthetic rubber raw materials. Originally announced in July, the new facility was scheduled to come on stream in mid-2004 with capacities of 250,000 metric tons propylene oxide, 575,000 tons styrene monomer and 650,000 tons ethylbenzene. Instead, Dow said expansions last year of PO capacity at its Freeport, Texas, and Plaquemine, La., plants added 160 million pounds annual output. The company also plans to bring an additional 45 million pounds of capacity on-line later this year in Stade, Germany. "We review supply/demand balances on a regular basis and will adjust the timing for the POSM project as necessary," said Bob Wood, group president of Dow´s Thermoset Business Group, which includes the propylene oxide and propylene glycol businesses, as well as polyurethanes, PU systems houses and epoxies and intermediates.