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21-09-2017

Dow announces start-up of world-scale ethylene production facility

DowDuPont Materials Science, the business division of DowDuPont to be named Dow, announced the startup of its new integrated world-scale ethylene production facility and its new ELITE™ enhanced polyethylene production facility, both in Freeport, Texas. These two key milestones enable Dow to capture benefits from increasing supplies of U.S. shale gas to deliver differentiated downstream solutions in its core market verticals.

Both units will continue to ramp up through the third quarter and are  expected to reach full rates in the fourth quarter of 2017.
 
“This is a monumental moment for Dow as we advance our global growth strategy by fully deploying our unmatched molecular and physical integration,” said Andrew Liveris, executive chairman of DowDuPont, and chairman and CEO of Dow. “These facilities are an integral part of Dow’s investments on the U.S. 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.”
 
A central component of Dow’s U.S. Gulf Coast investments, the ethylene production facility has an initial nameplate capacity of 1.5 million metric tons. As part of Dow’s next wave of growth investments, the unit will be expanded to 2 million metric tons, making it the world’s largest ethylene facility. Measured by total investment per metric ton of capacity, this new ethylene unit represents the least capital-intensive ethylene investment in the region.
 
The 400,000 metric ton ELITE™ polyethylene production unit is the first of four new derivative units at Dow’s manufacturing sites in Texas and Louisiana. Dow’s ELITE™ enhanced polyethylene resins are known for their versatility and high performance attributes and are used in multiple types of flexible food and industrial packaging applications.
 
“As we ramp these units to full production, we continue to solidify our early-mover advantage while significantly increasing our integration and growing our U.S. production capacity,” said Jim Fitterling, chief operating officer for DowDuPont Materials Science. “Dow’s new ethylene facility provides a solid, capital-efficient base in this attractive, feedstock-advantaged region, which will continue to fuel the industry’s broadest and most differentiated derivatives slate.”
 
In addition to supporting Dow’s near-term capacity additions, the ethylene facility will also support further planned debottlenecks to unlock additional polyethylene capacity as well as a new world-scale polyethylene unit as part of the Company’s comprehensive growth  investments. The remaining derivative assets to come online in the U.S. Gulf Coast include:
 
*  New specialty low density polyethylene (capacity: 350 KTA) for  industrial and supply chain packaging applications, expected to  startup later this year;
*  Next generation NORDEL™ metallocene EPDM (capacity: 200 KTA) to  deliver solutions for higher-margin applications for infrastructure  and consumer durables end-markets, expected to startup in early 2018;
*  Bi-modal gas phase de-bottleneck (125 KTA) to enable more offerings  for high-performance pipe and fitting applications, as well as the cap  and closure market, to follow later in 2018;
*  High Melt Index Specialty and Conventional Polyolefin Elastomers  (capacity: 320 KTA) for high-performance flexible packaging  end-markets, expected to come online in late 2018;
*  World-scale polyethylene unit based on Dow’s proprietary Solution  Process technology (capacity: 600 KTA) to meet demand in food and  specialty packaging, expected to come online by 2022.
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