American chemicals and materials giant Dow revealed plans Wednesday to construct a new integrated MDI distillation and prepolymers facility at its manufacturing site in Freeport, TX. The asset will replace its existing North American capacity in La Porte, TX and will allow the firm to increase its supply of the product by 30%.
“This MDI investment optimizes our existing asset infrastructure and enhances our global polyurethanes leadership position, further enabling us to support downstream systems customers’ growth,” Jane Palmieri, president of the Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure operating segment for Dow, in a company release. “The back integration at the Freeport site creates a cost competitive supply of key upstream polyurethane raw materials, enables a reliable supply position to support our growth in downstream high-value polyurethane markets and delivers a more sustainable production process.”
Dow’s Freeport MDI asset is expected to start up in 2023. At the same time, the company plans to shut down the polyurethane assets at its La Porte location.
A number of features were added to lower the site’s water usage and minimize its carbon footprint, including the use of thermal energy, implementing production efficiencies to reduce water intake and wastewater discharge. The site also eliminates the need for transport of raw materials.
Powder & Bulk Solids reported in February that Dow announced it will shed infrastructure related to its chemical plants in Germany. Unnamed sources told Reuters that the company intends to sell the assets, including infrastructure and services at petrochemical sites in Stade, Schkopau, and Boehlen, for about €800 million, or about $966 million.