SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Dow Chemical Co. will invest $500 million in Argentina and $30 million in Brazil to expand capacity for resins and feedstocks over the next five years. Dow Quimica Latin America SA announced its investment plan for the region Dec. 18 in SÃo Paulo.
The main investment amounts to $500 million for Petroqu¡mica Bahia Blanca, which was privatized in November 1995 with Dow Chemical holding a majority interest.
Luciano Respini, Dow Qu¡mica Latin America's president, said the company will expand production capacities for ethylene, which currently is at about 540 million pounds per year, and also for polyethylene, which is at about 595 million pounds per year.
``The project foresees an expansion of the ethylene industrial unit to [595 million pounds] per year by 1998 and the construction of a new plant with [an 882 million-pound] per year capacity by the year 2001,'' said Respini, who is also Dow's Brazilian subsidiary president.
The expansion of ethylene capacity is intended to supply the PE capacity increases at Petroquimica Bahia Blanca.
Dow plans to increase its current PE installation to capacity of about 882 million pounds per year by 2001, as well as build a plant during the same period to produce about 595 million pounds per year of Dowlex low density PE, using solution process, said Pedro Emilio Suarez, commercial director for PE at Dow Quimica Latin America.
Next year, Dow will invest an additional $30 million in Estireno do Nordeste SA, a Brazilian styrene monomer and polystyrene producer.
Dow acquired control of Estireno do Nordeste when the company was privatized in September.
``This money will be utilized to improve the production processes and maintenance systems at EDN's styrene monomer operation in Camacari, in the northeastern state of Bahia, as well as the PS plant in Guaruj , SÃo Paulo state,'' said EDN President Darcio Fabra Navarro.
The company will expand capacity at both plants by 10 percent, increasing production capacity in Guaruj to about 242.5 million pounds a year and Camacari's to about 388 million pounds a year.
Respini said Dow Quimica Latina America expects 1996 sales to reach $1.4 billion, up from $1.1 billion in 1995. Brazil will account for $751 million in 1996, a 12 percent increase from the previous year.
In Latin America, Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical has industrial complexes in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Venezuela.