Dow Chemical Co. is moving forward with plans to build a new liquid epoxy resin plant in China and to boost its polyurethane feedstock capacity in the Netherlands.
The Chinese project calls for construction of a 220 million-pound-per-year liquid epoxy plant in Caojing by 2010, officials with Midland, Mich.-based Dow said in a March 26 news release. Plans include a new 330 million-pound-capacity epichlorohydrin plant at the same site.
Both plants will be supplied with raw materials by Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd. and Shanghai Tianyuan Group Huasheng Chemical Co. Ltd.
Dow ranks as one of the world's largest epoxy makers, selling the material into markets for coatings, electrical laminates and other products. The firm already operates two epoxy plants in Asia - a 90 million-pound unit in Zhangjiagang, China; and a similar-sized unit in Kinu Ura, Japan.
In the Netherlands, Dow will add almost 400 million pounds of annual capacity for PU feedstock polyols at a plant in Terneuzen. The firm also will increase capacity for propylene glycol - used to make polyols and other products - by almost 180 million pounds at a plant in Stade, Germany. Both projects are expected to be completed by mid-2009.
In a news release, Dow officials said the European market for polyols - used in PU systems and rigid and flexible foams - is growing 5-6 percent per year. Demand is particularly strong in the automotive, construction and home furnishings markets, officials said.