Dow Completes Freeport Cracker
Dow Chemical has completed the construction of its 1.5 million t/y ethylene plant at Freeport, Texas, USA, with commissioning now underway and start-up expected by the middle of this year. The addition of the cracker takes Dow’s olefins capacity at Freeport to above 4 million t/y.
The facility will feed several derivative units that will come on stream throughout 2017 and 2018. These include plants producing 400,000 t/y Elite PE; 350,000 t/y specialty LDPE grades; 200,000 t/y next-generation Nordel metallocene ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM); and 320,000 t/y of specialty and conventional polyolefin elastomers with a high melt index. A debottlenecking of bimodal gas-phase PE capacity will also add 125,000 t/y.
“The Freeport ethylene unit is the cornerstone of our $6 billion investment in the US Gulf Coast. Our growth investments leverage the advantaged shale gas supply available in the US and represent thousands of new jobs and significant economic value, including exports of approximately 20% of our US production,” said Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical’s chairman and CEO.
Jim Fitterling, Dow Chemical’s president and chief operating officer, added that the unit provides the critical building blocks to bolster its competitive advantage in targeted consumer-led markets, including packaging, transportation, infrastructure and consumer care. “Not only does this investment leverage Dow’s early-mover advantage in shale gas, but it will also fuel the industry’s broadest and most differentiated derivatives slate, featuring Dow’s proprietary catalyst and process technologies to meet growing consumer demand throughout the Americas,” he said.