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Dow to Expand MDI Production in North America

Published on 2007-02-02. Author : SpecialChem

Midland, MI -- The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") announced that it plans to expand production at its Freeport, Texas, MDI facility by 50 percent over the next 36 months. In September 2006, Dow also announced plans to expand MDI production at its Estarreja, Portugal, site. These two projects will significantly increase Dow's global MDI capacity and, in effect, support the future growth plans of Dow's performance businesses, which include Dow Polyurethanes. A strong platform for developing a range of performance products and solutions furthers Dow's strategic portfolio shift to performance businesses.

"Demand for MDI has been growing steadily, and expanding our production capability will allow us to more effectively address the changing market needs," said Pat Dawson, business vice president, Dow Polyurethanes. "With today's announcement, our North American customers will have the comfort of knowing that we are well positioned to reliably meet their growing supply requirements both now and in the future."

The Freeport MDI plant came on stream in 2005, and its original design blueprint provided for the possibility of expansion. The expansion will be executed in two stages, with the first half of increased capacity expected to be available in early 2008. When completed, the increase will account for an additional 250 million pounds of name-plate capacity per year of MDI manufactured at the Freeport site.

"The Freeport site is a world-class MDI facility with which Dow underscored its commitment to the polyurethanes industry and the rigid foam market," continued Dawson. "The strong and steadily growing market merits further investment at this production site, and we have the capability to execute the expansion quickly and efficiently. We are very excited to bring this added capacity to our polyurethanes customers and re-affirm our leading supplier position in North America."

MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) is a major raw material used in the production of rigid polyurethane foam and polyurethane elastomers. Global market is estimated at 8 billion pounds; demand for MDI is currently growing at 6 percent to 7 percent annually, and that is expected to continue. Overall global demand is particularly strong in end-use markets such as home, commercial and industrial foam insulation, as well as refrigeration, appliances, and coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers.

Dow currently produces and distills MDI at the facilities in Freeport and La Porte, Texas; Yeosu, South Korea; Yokkaichi/Kinu Ura, Japan; Stade, Germany; Delfzijl, The Netherlands, and Estarreja, Portugal.

About Dow Polyurethanes

Dow is the world's largest producer of polyether polyols, a leading producer of quality aromatic isocyanates, such as MDI and TDI, and a major supplier of propylene oxide, an essential component of polyether polyols. Dow's polyurethanes products and formulated systems are used in rigid foams, flexible foams, adhesives, sealants, coatings, and elastomers, as well as many other applications. Dow also offers the latest in polyol technology with its VORANOL™ VORACTIV™ polyols, part of an ongoing initiative by Dow to lead the industry in providing high-performance products with reduced VOC-emissions.

About The Dow Chemical Company

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: Dow Chemical Company


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