Dow Chemical (Midland, MI) announced today completion of the construction phase of its new ELITE enhanced polyethylene (PE) production facility in Freeport, TX. The 400,000-metric-ton PE unit is the first of four new derivative investments, at a cost of approximately $6 billion, that the company is undertaking on the Gulf Coast.
“This milestone further reflects the steady progress our teams are making to bring these multi-phased investments online to enhance our cost-advantaged integration and industry-leading innovation,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow President and COO. “Taken together, these investments represent the industry's broadest and most differentiated derivative slate, fueled by Dow's proprietary catalyst and process technologies, and will deliver enhanced products and technologies for our customers while enabling higher quality growth for our shareholders.”
The production unit now enters its commissioning and startup phase in sequence with the mid-year startup of Dow’s 1.5-million-metric-ton world-scale ethylene facility. The plant is expected to ramp up during the third quarter and be fully operational in the fourth quarter. Designed with Dow’s proprietary solution process technology, the unit will produce ELITE enhanced polyethylene resins used in multiple types of flexible packaging applications.
“The mechanical completion of our first new polyethylene unit is yet another milestone that brings us closer to having more volume to meet growing customer demand globally,” said Diego Donoso, President of Dow’s Packaging and Specialty Plastics business. “As with our ethylene production facility, the Dow team safely delivered the project on time. This is yet another example of Dow’s ability to deliver on our commitments to generate value for our customers, shareholders and employees.”
Dow’s other three derivative units along with a planned debottleneck are proceeding on schedule and are staged to come online throughout 2017 and 2018.