US Dow has no set timeframe for asset-light basic chem JV

12 November 2009 22:45  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS news)--Dow Chemical has no set timeframe on striking a deal for its commodity chemical assets or for achieving potential proceeds from its failed Kuwait joint venture, chief executive Andrew Liveris said on Thursday.

“We are continuing the arbitration process and if 2010 brings a resolution, that’s great,” Liveris said at a media event in New York City, referring to the failed Kuwait joint venture in 2008 with Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC).

“But we and our Kuwaiti partner are very respectful of each other, and these circumstances are well understood in that part of the world,” he added.

Dow and PIC continue to be JV partners in Equate and MEGlobal.

“Everyone speculates about our relationship, but everything is fine,” he said.

Dow continues to pursue its asset-light strategy, involving forming a partnership for its basic chemicals and plastics businesses, and is in talks with two potential parties, noted Liveris.

Additional companies have contacted Dow on its commodity assets, he added.

“We are in talks with resource-owners, but want to make sure we achieve full value for our premier ethylene and polyethylene franchise,” said Juan Luciano, Dow’s senior vice president of hydrocarbons and basic plastics.

Dow’s next partner in a large-scale commodity chemical JV will likely have substantial hydrocarbon and refining assets, he noted.

“In the future, after ethane in the Middle East is tapped out, the next layer of competitive advantage will be in refinery integration,” Luciano told ICIS on the sidelines of the event.

“We are being very picky, as we want the right partner to grow with. We want to be a 50% partner,” he added.

($1 = €0.67)

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By: Joseph Chang
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