Dow Plans Ethylene Boost | April 25, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 17 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 17 | p. 20 | Concentrates
Issue Date: April 25, 2011

Dow Plans Ethylene Boost

Department: Business
Keywords: Dow, Braskem, ethylene, propylene, dehydrogenation

The chemical industry’s rush to tap into U.S. shale resources continued last week as Dow Chemical announced a series of investments to expand olefins production, and Brazil’s Braskem disclosed it is considering building ethylene and polyethylene plants in the U.S. Dow plans to build a new “world-scale” ethylene cracker on the U.S. Gulf Coast by the end of 2017. It will start up an “on-purpose” propylene plant at its Freeport, Texas, complex in 2015. In addition, the company says it is exploring construction of a propane dehydrogenation plant, using its own technology, by 2018. Dow is pursuing near-term investments as well. The company will restart a cracker that it idled in 2009 in Hahnville, La., by the end of next year. Improvement projects in Plaquemine, La., and Freeport will allow crackers at those sites to process more ethane by 2014 and 2016, respectively. Altogether, Dow expects to add 2.3 million metric tons of ethylene and 900,000 metric tons of propylene capacity. To secure feedstock supplies, Dow is considering building a gas fractionator with a joint-venture partner. It has signed a memorandum of understanding with gas supplier Range Resources for ethane from the Marcellus region in Pennsylvania. Additionally, it has inked ethane and propane supply agreements with gas suppliers from the Eagle Ford shale gas region in eastern Texas.T

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