MIDLAND, Mich. (Feb. 22)—Dow Chemical Co. is keeping its methylene diphenyl diisocyanate plant in LaPorte, Texas, on stream on a "month-by-month basis" until its 160,000 metric-ton-per-year unit in Freeport, Texas, is running well.
It certainly will close no later than May 31, however, a spokesman said.
Already delayed, the Freeport facility came on stream in early December "at a reduced rate," the spokesman said, and it then was subject to a planned shutdown to allow for operator training. It is now restarting, he said.
With a force majeure situation in Europe following problems at its Stade, Germany, MDI factory, Dow has been struggling to supply customers, so LaPorte is remaining operational "to try to recoup losses due to the delay of Freeport (start-up) and outages," the spokesman said.
Continuing growth in demand is exacerbating the situation, he said, adding that "the extremely high demand and tight supply, means that price rises are to come, soon."