MIDLAND, MICH. (Aug. 3, 2010)—Dow Chemical Co. is embarking on a global polyolefin elastomers expansion that will increase annual capacity for those materials by 550 million pounds.
The expansion will take place at existing Dow production sites in Freeport, Texas, and Tarragona, Spain, as well as at a new facility in Map-Ta-Phut, Thailand. In an Aug. 3 news release, officials with Midland, Mich.-based Dow said that the expansion is a strategic investment to meet the growing needs of customers worldwide while maintaining Dow's cost-competitive position.
“Dow has been the leader in polyolefin elastomers and plastomers from the very beginning, and we are committed to holding that position,” Luis Cirihal, Dow elastomers global business director, said in the release. The firm “is well positioned to utilize this technology breakthrough debottleneck project to take full advantage of current and future growth,” he added.
The Thailand plant is set to be operational by mid-2011. Capacity additions in Freeport or Tarragona will be done on an as-needed basis, a Dow spokesperson said. No details were available as to how the additions will be split among the three locations. No cost estimate for the expansion was available.
Dow currently operates 1.5 billion pounds of polyolefin elastomer technology. Products affected by the expansion include Engage-brand polyolefin elastomers, Affinity-brand polyolefin plastomers, Infuse-brand olefin block copolymers and Versify-brand plastomers. Those products are used in a wide array of applications including automotive parts and packaging.
Dow also reported its second-quarter and first-half results on Aug. 3. Quarterly sales were up 20 percent vs. the year-ago period to $13.6 billion. For the half, sales were up 32 percent to $27 billion. The firm also registered a quarterly profit of almost $600 million after losing almost $500 million in the same quarter in 2009.