MIDLAND, Mich. (Feb. 4, 2010)—Dow Chemical Co. said it permanently will close its toluene diisocyanate production plant in Freeport, Texas, in the second quarter because producing the polyurethane curative there isn't economically viable.
The firm said it has secured an unnamed alternative supply source. Dow Chemical's closest TDI plant to Freeport is in Camacari, Brazil. In mid-2008 the company said it was pondering expanding the site, which has 60,000 metric tons of capacity. The Dow Freeport factory can product 100,000 tons annually.
The Dow Polyurethanes division said it will offer a seamless transition for North American customers. There will be no changes in sales specifications, quality, or logistics and Dow will continue to honor its contracts for TDI.
Dow's Freeport facility was closed for nearly a month in October 2009 as a result of an equipment breakage, forcing the group to declare force majeure on supplies. The operation has 54 employees, and the Dow Polyurethanes said it will work with the company's Texas operations to minimize the impact of the closing on the workers.
Other major suppliers of TDI in the US are BASF Corp. and Bayer MaterialScience.