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Dow announces next phase of investments

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Dow Chemical Company (Dow or the company) has announced its next phase of comprehensive investments over the next five years to further enhance its competitive advantage and deliver earnings growth. These investments will stimulate economic activity, primarily in the US, while also creating a significant number of jobs tied to state-of-the-art manufacturing and infrastructure investments. The company also continues to accelerate its efforts to train and educate the workforce and close the skills gap for tomorrow’s manufacturing careers.

The investments announced are expected to come online in a phased manner, beginning in 2020 and will require estimated capital expenditures of approximately US$4 billion, spread over the next five years. The primary components of this plan include:

  • Expansion of the capacity of Dow’s new TX-9 ethylene cracker through the addition of two furnaces, bringing the facility’s total ethylene capacity to 2 million t and making the TX-9 cracker the largest ethylene facility in the world.
  • Construction of a world-scale 600 000 t polyethylene unit in the US Gulf Coast based on Dow’s proprietary Solution Process technology. This new capacity will address consumer-driven demand in specialty packaging, health and hygiene, and industrial and consumer packaging applications.
  • Dow will pursue a series of investments to strengthen its Polyurethanes franchise aimed at driving downstream specialty polyols and systems growth and infrastructure enhancements.
  • The company will undertake a series of incremental de-bottleneck projects across its global asset network that will deliver approximately 350 000 t of additional polyethylene, the majority of which will be in North America.
  • Construction of a new catalyst production unit for key catalysts licensed by Univation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dow, enhancing Univation’s licensing model.
  • Construction of a world-scale 450 000 t polyolefins facility in Europe. This capacity addition will maximise the value of Dow’s ethylene integration in the region and serve growing demand for high performance pressure pipes and fittings, as well as caps and closures applications.
  • The company will pursue additional investments to benefit from shale gas economics, further enhancing feedstock flexibility and reducing volatility from these advantaged inputs.
  • Dow will further enhance its Pack Studios, the company’s global network of packaging experts, equipment and testing capabilities that accelerates the collaborative development of better packaging. Over the next two years, Dow will drive several advancements in the US and globally in polyethylene and adhesive innovations and rapid prototyping, strengthening the company’s position as the preferred development partner for packaging innovation.
  • Dow will invest an additional US$400 million to support the transformation of its Midland, Michigan manufacturing operations, enabling further synergies from the integration of Dow and Dow Corning’s manufacturing operations as a result of the recent restructuring of Dow Corning’s ownership.
  • Dow also recently announced it will invest in a new, US$100 million state-of-the-art innovation centre at its global headquarters in Midland, Michigan. The centre will house scientists and engineers who will focus research and development activities on advancing solutions for home and personal care products; broadening Dow’s energy-saving building technologies; enhancing materials for critical infrastructure; and driving closer partnerships with automakers as they further accelerate efforts to light-weight automobiles and develop hybrid, electric and autonomous transportation solutions.

“Today’s announcement underscores Dow’s commitment to driving the next phase of our growth through a comprehensive set of investments that will benefit our shareholders, customers, employees and the communities in which we operate,” said Andrew Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Manufacturing plays a vital role in driving economic growth and prosperity across virtually all sectors of society. The positive investment environment in the US chemical and materials sector, driven by competitive feedstocks and a skilled workforce, is a driver for Dow to further invest in the USA.”

“The Trump Administration seeks to drive structural economic reform across the regulatory and tax environments, fair trade and job creation – envisioning an economy that motivates US business to once again focus on domestic growth and restoring America’s long-term competitiveness,” added Liveris. “Dow’s announcement today, as well as our US investments over these past many years, align with this thesis and position our company to continue strengthening the manufacturing sector and the many industries it supports.”

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Downstream news North America downstream news