June 11, 2021
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.
Here are some other chemical industry developments that captured headlines over the last week:
Large Fire Causes HCL Release at Chemical Plant
Firefighters were sent to the Dover Chemical Corp. plant in Dover, OH in the late hours of Thursday after a large blaze ignited in the middle of a building at the site, the Dover Fire Department said in a press release posted to its Facebook page. Officials said hydrochloric acid vapor was released during the incident, prompting a HAZMAT response. Crews controlled the vapor issue within an hour and the fire was doused by 1:13 a.m. Friday.
Ascend Boosts Long-Chain Polyamides Capacity at US Plant
Houston, TX-based Ascend Performance Materials announced this week that it has increased the capacity of its Greenwood, SC manufacturing plant during a multi-million-dollar project to boost production of HiDura long-chain polyamides. HiDura PA610 and 612 are used in a range of applications, including consumer goods, industrial, renewable energy, automotive, and electric vehicles.
Cargill JV to Erect $300M 1,4-Butanediol Plant
American agribusiness Cargill and German chemicals marketer HELM have formed a new joint venture, Qore, to produce bio-based intermediates that can be used in lieu of fossil-based chemistries, the two firms announced in a release Tuesday. The joint venture plans to invest $300 million to open the first commercial-scale production facility for 1,4-butanediol (BDO) in the United States.
18 Killed in Chemical Manufacturing Plant Blaze
18 people were killed, and 20 others were injured after a fire broke out Monday at the SVS Aqua Technologies chemical plant in Pune, India, local and international news organizations reported. The blaze ignited at about 3:45 p.m. at the facility, trapping more than 35 people inside the structure, coverage by the BBC said. Responding crews were forced to break into the structure’s walls to free the workers.
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