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Dow Plans New Texas MDI Distillation and Prepolymers Facility

Dow said it plans to exit and shut down its polyurethane assets at La Porte, Texas, following the start-up of a new integrated Methylene Diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) distillation and Prepolymers facility at its manufacturing site in Freeport, Texas.

The new MDI facility, expected in 2023, will replace Dow's current North American capacity in La Porte and will be capable of supplying an additional 30% of product to its customers.

Dow did not provide the total cost or capacity for the Freeport unit but said its investment supports increasing demand for downstream polyurethane systems products and advances its leading positions in applications for construction, consumer, and industrial markets that are growing.

"This MDI investment optimizes our existing asset infrastructure and enhances our global polyurethanes leadership position, further enabling us to support downstream systems customers' growth," said Jane Palmieri, president of Dow's Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure operating segment. "The back integration at the Freeport site creates a cost-competitive supply of key upstream Polyurethane raw materials, ensures a reliable supply position to support our growth in downstream high-value Polyurethane markets and delivers a more sustainable production process."

The Freeport will also reduce Dow's carbon footprint and water usage by:

1. eliminating the need for the generation of thermal power by utilizing existing thermal energy from the Freeport site,

2. reducing water intake and wastewater discharge (through production efficiencies), and

3. eliminating the need for transport of raw materials.

Dow's Polyurethane systems franchise upgrades key Polyurethane components to produce rigid, semi-rigid, and flexible foams, and coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, and composites for applications that range from industrial and infrastructure solutions to consumer comfort solutions in flooring, furniture, bedding, and footwear, to automotive solutions for vehicle interior, and energy-efficient insulation materials.

By Brian Balboa for The Plastics Exchange.

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