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Dow To Expand Its Manufacturing and R&D Facility In Correggio, Italy

Published on 2007-12-10. Author : SpecialChem

Midland, MI -- The Dow Chemical Company has announced plans to expand its facilities at Correggio, Italy, in a move that will position the site as Dow's global research and development center for polyurethane systems formulation and application technology.

The Company also plans to increase production capacity of the Dow Building Solutions plant that manufactures STYROFOAM™ brand insulation products by 30 percent, and to optimize the site's formulated polyurethane systems manufacturing plant, targeting improvements in productivity and logistics. The expansion of the Correggio facility, which is subject to appropriate government and regulatory approvals, is a $20 million investment and is scheduled for completion in 2009.

The expansion supports Dow's strategy to drive growth in its Performance portfolio aligning its research and development (R&D) effort with customer needs and strengthening its position in key markets around the globe. As a market leader, Dow continually strives to be at the forefront of industry innovation and development in order to offer customers a broad portfolio of tailored solutions.

"Development of new applications that create value for customers is at the core of Dow Polyurethanes (PU) Systems' strategy," said Juan Antonio Merino, general manager, Dow PU Systems. "This expansion will further enhance our ability to combine our more than 50 years of experience in urethane chemistry with the entrepreneurial spirit of innovation that drives the PU Systems business. Our customers will get a broader range of differentiated products and advanced systems technologies based on their specific needs."

Dow Polyurethane Systems is focused on innovation and technology. The R&D activities mainly highlight innovative performance and differentiated solutions for fire rating and energy efficiency in the construction and cold chain industries; comfort and environmental performance for flexible foams for the automotive and furniture industries; improved performances for footwear soling materials; next generation hydrophilic specialties for medical applications and agriculture; high performance flooring solutions; specialized spray and cast elastomers for demanding applications as well as a broad solutions offering for downstream oil and gas industries.

The R&D center expansion includes a new application laboratory, a new pilot plant area with scale-up capabilities, and additional space for polymer testing capabilities. The upgraded, expanded R&D facility will comprise a chemical lab, a material characterization lab, an application lab equipped with molding and prototyping units for in-house trials and testing, and a pilot plant for the production of small scale fully formulated polyurethane systems.

"Industry requirements are rapidly changing and new opportunities are created for polyurethanes. The chemists and technicians of the Correggio R&D center have been very successful in constantly creating value through the development of PU systems and application technology. The expansion of the R&D facilities will position Correggio as Dow's global Polyurethane Application Technology Center and will give us the chance of future successes in the global polyurethane industry" commented Alberto Fangareggi, senior R&D director for Polyurethanes Application Technology Development. "Specifically, the Correggio technology center will work on the development of polyurethanes for appliance and construction insulation, for automotive and composites applications and for the footwear industry".

The expansion will also allow Dow Building Solutions to improve its service to customers. "The capacity increase for STYROFOAM™ brand insulation products re-affirms our commitment to the highly competitive building market in Italy," says Greg Jozwiak, Managing Director for Dow Building Solutions in Europe, "whilst representing a first step to protect our customers' competitive position in this fast growing market segment."

The Correggio facility produces and commercializes polyurethane tailor-made solutions to customers globally. The site is located 150 km south of Milan and currently houses almost 170 employees. The expansion is expected to include the hiring of 30 new employees over a three year period.

About Dow Polyurethane Systems

Dow Polyurethane Systems, a business within Dow Polyurethanes, is a global leader in the development and formulation of fully formulated polyurethane systems for a broad range of applications and is focused on providing innovative, tailor-made solutions to customers world-wide. Based on a network of 23 facilities located across Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa, North and Latin America, the business manufactures and markets custom formulated rigid and semi-rigid, flexible, integral skin, and microcellular polyurethane foams and fully formulated systems as well as elastomers, sealants, coatings and binders. These products are used in applications ranging from construction, automotive, appliance, furniture and shoe soles to decorative molding and athletic equipment.

About Dow Building Solutions

Dow Building Solutions (DBS) business offers a broad line of product solutions while addressing the issues most important to builders and home buyers including: energy efficiency, moisture resistance, durability, and cost. Dow Building Solutions has a 60-year history in the construction industry, a legacy that began with the launch of its flagship STYROFOAM™ brand insulation, the most well-known brand of extruded polystyrene insulation. Backed by the science and technology of Dow, DBS is constantly evaluating new and novel solutions to better meet the needs of today, while addressing the emerging needs and demands of tomorrow. DBS product range includes STYROFOAM blue extruded foamed polystyrene insulation, GREAT-STUFF™ polyurethane foam sealant, FROTH-PAK™ polyurethane foam spray systems, INSTA-STIK™ polyurethane adhesives and a growing range of accessories.

About Dow

Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of innovation, science and technology to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company offers a broad range of products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $49 billion and employs 43,000 people worldwide. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

Source: The Dow Chemical Company

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