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Dow Signs LOI with Jilin Connell to Strengthen Integration of its North American PUR Franchise

Published on 2011-12-06. Author : SpecialChem

MIDLAND, Mich. -- Dow Polyurethanes, a business group of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) and a leading producer of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), has announced the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Jilin Connell Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Jilin Connell Group, aimed at providing U.S. Gulf Coast aniline supply for growth in our Polyurethanes business. Jilin Connell Group, a privately-held company, was formed in 1991. Its subsidiary, Jilin Connell Chemical Company (Jilin Connell), is the top merchant aniline producer and distributor in China and has announced expansion plans that would position it as the largest in the world.

Dow operates the largest single-train crude MDI plant in the world today from its Freeport, Texas site; therefore, competitive U.S. aniline supply is critical to meet our customers' needs in a variety of markets and applications, including energy efficient rigid and spray foam insulation solutions for appliances, building and construction; lifestyle-enhancing molded and viscoelastic foams for furniture, bedding and automotive applications; and other adhesive and coating systems for footwear, fibers, etc. The LOI with Jilin Connell concerns the exploration of opportunities for future technical and commercial collaboration in the industrial production of aniline. Discussions include plant location options such as the possibility of Jilin Connell building a fence line plant at Dow's site in Freeport.

"Dow's core Polyurethanes franchise enables success in downstream specialty markets and applications, and our integration strength allows us to more effectively provide market-driven customer solutions," commented Joe Harlan, president of the Performance Materials division. This project also represents another example of Dow's commitment to the U.S. manufacturing sector, in addition to Dow's interest in leveraging its engagement in China to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) and job creation by Chinese companies in the U.S. "Dow is a leader in FDI involvement and working with global partners to enter the American economy," continued Harlan. "We are committed to partnering with innovative companies that advance Dow's strategy and help create and preserve U.S. manufacturing jobs."

A signing ceremony took place in Los Angeles, California, as part of a Chinese delegation's visit to the U.S. and Canada to sign a number of potential investment collaborations including the one with Dow.

"Dow customers need competitive supply especially in this economy. We are looking for a partner who is a reliable, competitive supplier that can enable us to strengthen our MDI business in North America to serve the rapidly-growing energy efficiency and lifestyle-enhancing markets," says Steven English, global vice president for Dow Polyurethanes. "Jilin Connell brings significant experience in aniline production and a commitment to the partnership."

About Dow Polyurethanes

Dow is the world's largest producer of propylene oxide (PO), propylene glycol (PG), and polyether polyols, and is a leading producer of quality aromatic isocyanates, such as MDI and TDI. Dow's polyurethane products enhance a broad range of applications including construction, automotive, furniture, bedding, appliance, decorative molding, athletic equipment and more. The business provides key ingredients, systems and solutions for rigid, semi-rigid and flexible foams, adhesives, sealants, coatings, elastomers and binders. VORANOL™ VORACTIV™ polyols exemplify Dow's ongoing initiative to lead the industry in providing high-performance products that meet critical consumer needs.

About Dow

Dow combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

Source: Dow

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