Dow Chemical Co. will invest in both its upstream and downstream silicones business to support global customer demand.
The firm is planning a series of incremental siloxane debottleneck and efficiency improvement projects during the next three years to further increase capacity and efficiency in Dow's siloxane manufacturing facilities around the world.
It is also going to begin a feasibility study for the construction of a new, world-scale siloxane plant. The geographic location of the new proposed siloxane facility will be determined as an outcome of the feasibility study.
Midland, Mich.-based Dow cited increased demand in markets like high performance building, electrical and industrial, consumer goods and components assembly as the primary drivers for the investments.
“Dow is committed to our ongoing investment in both upstream and downstream assets to bring a reliable supply to our customers,” Mauro Gregorio, president of the firm's Dow Consumer Solutions business, said in a statement. “As an essential addition to Dow's global silicones manufacturing footprint, the proposed new siloxane plant will expand our access to differentiated monomers and intermediates around the world, while strengthening our capabilities to accelerate and execute our strong innovation pipeline.”
Other projects include a new hydroxyl functional siloxane polymer plant in Carrollton, Ky., which will increase Dow's polymer capacity in the Americas by 65 percent. Dow said the move will provide the latest technology to accelerate innovation with customers.
Finally, Dow is planning to add a new specialty resin plant in Zhangjiagang, China, to increase capacity in Dow's high-value performance silicones products and intermediates. The firm cited home and personal care, pressure sensitive adhesives, antifoams, and moldable optics for lighting as the primary industries targeted with this investment.
“The projects we are announcing today support our ability to continue to meet strong global demand for Dow's silicones materials, enabling us to grow and innovate more quickly with customers and advancing our leading positions in our targeted end-markets,” Jim Fitterling, Dow CEO and chief operating officer for the Materials Science Division of parent company DowDuPont, said in a statement. “Further, these targeted investments are expected to deliver fast paybacks and higher return on invested capital for Dow, contributing to greater earnings and cash generation.”