Dow to build Gulf Coast POSM plant

Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., on Tuesday announced it will build a propylene oxide and styrene monomer (POSM) facility at one of its fully integrated manufacturing complexes on the US Gulf Coast. Dow has complexes at Plaquemine, La., and Freeport and La Porte, Tex.

Dow says the new plant will its first plant to utilize a new co-product POSM process. The complex is scheduled for completion in mid-2004.

The plant will have capacity to produce 650,000 tonnes/year of ethylbenzene, 250,000 tonnes/year of propylene oxide, and 575,000 tonnes/year of styrene monomer. It will use proprietary technology licensed from the Russian chemical company Nizhnekamskneftekhim (NKNK).

"The capability to use either chlorohydrin or POSM technology globally provides Dow with the flexibility to practice the most appropriate technology on a site-by-site basis around the world,'' said Bob Wood, business group president. For example, Dow has chosen POSM technology for its planned Tianjin, China, complex, slated for start-up later in the decade.

"This announcement marks the culmination of several years of joint development with NKNK,'' said Rick Gross, Dow's corporate vice-president for research and development. "Both companies have worked together in a cooperative effort to advance the POSM process and design a world-scale facility of the highest standards. Additionally, our combined strengths in process research and engineering have been invaluable to the overall design of this facility.''

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