Dow sees natgas as ‘game-changer’ for US manufacturing – exec

20 July 2011 14:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Natural gas can fuel a “renaissance” in US manufacturing – but only if the country produces enough of it and uses it wisely, a Dow Chemical executive said on Wednesday.

“Natural gas can be a game-changer,” said George Biltz, US-based giant Dow Chemical's corporate vice president and vice president of energy and climate change.

“We can create the best opportunity if we enact policies to encourage natural gas production, avoid legislating natural gas demand and enact a comprehensive energy policy to improve American energy security,” he added.

Biltz, who this week testified before the US Senate committee on energy and natural resources, said that using natural gas for manufacturing provides an eight-fold multiplier in value to the economy, by adding jobs and products into the market.

In the chemical industry, a 25% increase in ethane supplies extracted from natural gas can generate some 17,000 direct, high-paying jobs and a $33bn (€23bn) increase in US chemical production, he said.

Dow, for its part, is investing more than $500m in ethane cracking and ethylene supply on the US Gulf coast, as it focuses on increasing its ethylene and propylene production and integrating feedstock supplies from recent US shale gas discoveries, Biltz said.

($1 = €0.71)

For more on Dow Chemicals and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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