Dow Plans MDI Plant in Texas, USA

16.06.2021 - Dow is planning to build an integrated methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) distillation and prepolymers plant at its site in Freeport, Texas, USA, to support rising demand from the downstream polyurethane (PU) sector.

The multinational chemical group said the investment advances its leading positions in attractive applications in construction, consumer and industrial markets that are growing above GDP rates.

The capacity of the new facility was not disclosed but Dow said it will replace current capacity in LaPorte, Texas, as well as being capable of supplying an extra 30% of product to its customers. The Freeport plant is expected to start operating in 2023, when Dow will close its MDI and PU assets at LaPorte.

Dow already operates a 223,000 t/y MDI plant at Freeport, which started up in 2006 and replaced polymeric MDI production at LaPorte, which was closed. However, Dow continued to run the MDI distillation facility at LaPorte.

“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,” Palmieri said.

Indian researcher Market Data Forecast predicts that the global MDI/PU market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.7% for the period 2021-2026, mainly driven by demand for PU products in developing countries.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist