Dow And Partners Advance Thai Plans | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: July 31, 2007

Dow And Partners Advance Thai Plans

Hydrogen peroxide and propylene oxide plants are slated by Dow, Solvay, and BASF
Department: Business
Polyurethane foam is used to insulate modern refrigerators.
Credit: BASF
Polyurethane foam is used to insulate modern refrigerators.
Credit: BASF

Dow Chemical and Solvay are joining forces to build a hydrogen peroxide plant in Thailand. Scheduled to open in 2010, the plant would be the largest peroxide plant in the world, the firms say, and serve as a raw material source for the manufacture of propylene oxide, a polyurethane intermediate.

Dow and BASF have jointly developed a hydrogen-peroxide-based route to propylene oxide, which now is made by other, more complicated processes (C&EN, Oct. 9, 2006, page 22). The two companies are building such a propylene oxide plant in Antwerp, Belgium, and have been in negotiations to build a similar one in Map Ta Phut, Thailand.

The Thai peroxide plant would have production capacity of more than 330,000 metric tons per year, and the downstream propylene oxide plant would have capacity of 390,000 metric tons. In contrast, the Antwerp peroxide plant, being built by Solvay, will have capacity of 230,000 metric tons, while the propylene oxide plant there will have 300,000 metric tons of capacity.

In the new technology, hydrogen peroxide reacts with propylene to yield propylene oxide. In Thailand, the propylene feedstock for making propylene oxide would come from an ethylene cracker that Dow plans to build jointly with Siam Cement in Thailand.

"Thailand is an attractive location for a hydrogen peroxide-propylene oxide investment due to its fertile business climate and easy access to the entire Asia-Pacific region," says Pat Dawson, president of Dow Polyurethanes.

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