FREEPORT, Texas—DowDuPont Materials Science has started up world-scale ethylene and polyethylene production facilities in Freeport, with new olefinic rubber and elastomers units scheduled to follow.
Launched on Sept. 21, the 1,500 kilotonnes per year ethylene unit and 400ktpa enhanced PE unit will leverage increasing supplies of U.S. shale gas, the firm said.
The ethylene facility is to be expanded to 2,000ktpa, which DowDuPont said would make it the world's largest ethylene facility, while the PE facility is the first of four new derivative units at Dow sites in Texas and Louisiana.
Among the other Dow polymer facilities set to come online in the U.S. Gulf Coast is a 200ktpa next generation Nordel metallocene EPDM for infrastructure and consumer durables end-markets.
The EPDM rubber unit is expected to start-up in early 2018, DowDuPont said.
Dow also plans to launch a 320ktpa unit for the production of high melt index specialty and conventional polyolefin elastomers in late 2018.
Dow branded these additions as a monumental moment.
"These facilities are an integral part of Dow's investments on the US Gulf Coast to meet increasing consumer-led demand in our core market verticals of packaging, infrastructure and consumer care, and will enable our next level of earnings and cash flow growth," DowDuPont Chairman Andrew Liviris said in a statement.