A major agreement between Dow Chemical Co. and Tianjin Petrochemical Corp. of China calls for the construction of an ethylene cracker and plants producing polyethylene, polystyrene, polyurethane and epoxy resins by 2003.
Capacity and cost estimates were unavailable for the project, which will link Dow, the Midland, Mich.-based chemicals giant, with Sinopec, Tianjin Petrochemical's parent company — which ranks as China's largest petrochemical supplier.
In a jointly issued news release, William Stavropolous, Dow president and chief executive officer, said the project is ``a clear demonstration of Dow's commitment to the China market and how the company intends to create value in Asia Pacific.''
Sinopec President Sheng Huaren described the project as ``world-scale, high tech, highly cost-effective and world competitive.''
A feasibility study for the project will be completed in 1999, and both companies expect to approve site plans by 2000, a Dow spokeswoman said.
The agreement, signed June 23 in Beijing, will create Dow's largest Chinese facility and add to the company's ever-increasing presence in the Asian marketplace.
Dow has operated a joint venture facility producing polypropylene oxide in Ningbo, China, since the early 1990s.
The resin supplier also recently signed a letter of intent to build a PET plant in Ygantze through a joint venture with Ygantze Chemical Co. The companies involved did not set dates for that project.
Dow also is working with Asahi Chemical Industry Co. to build an $80 million PS facility outside of Shanghai. The operation—slated to produce 264 million pounds of PS each year when it comes on line in 1999—is expected to be China's largest PS producer.
The company expects Chinese sales to make up 7-8 percent of Dow's total sales by 2004. In 1996, Dow's sales totaled $20.1 billion.