Dow Chemical Co. - in a move to ensure its position as the world's second-largest producer of polyurethane resins - announced Feb. 13 it will build a world-scale toluene diisocyanate plant in Texas. The Midland, Mich., company believes its new facility will be the first large addition to TDI production capacity in the 1990s. It did not reveal the size of its investment.
The company plans to boost TDI capacity from the 140 million pounds at its Freeport, Texas, facility, to more than 300 million pounds. The expansion will be at a site on the Gulf Coast, a spokesman said.
The new capacity is a response to dramatic growth in TDI demand in the past two years, and expectations of continued strong demand, the spokesman said. Worldwide demand grew 6.5 percent in 1993 and 7 percent in 1994. Demand is expected to be strong in 1995, then level out to an average annual rate of 4 percent. The company supplies both TDI and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate and is the largest producer of polyol components in the world, the spokesman said.
In September, Dow launched an expansion of propylene oxide capacity at plants in Texas, Louisiana, Brazil and Germany.