UpdateDow not seeking more partners downstream from new Texas cracker

18 March 2013 19:57  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--US-based Dow Chemical is not seeking additional partners downstream from its planned 1.5m tonne/year cracker in Freeport, Texas, following the announcement of an ethylene off-take agreement with Idemitsu and Mitsui, a company spokesperson said on Monday.

“Dow is not looking for additional downstream partner opportunities but will evaluate and explore opportunities if and when they arise,” said Nancy Lamb, a Dow spokesperson.

Japan-based companies Mitsui and Idemitsu Kosan are exploring the creation of a 50:50 joint venture to build a 330,000 tonne/year linear alpha olefins (LAO) unit in the US.

The companies also signed an initial agreement to off-take ethylene from Dow’s US Gulf Coast facilities for LAO production. A final investment decision in the LAO unit will be made in 2014, with production starting up in 2016, said Mitsui and Idemitsu.

The venture would also supply Dow with LAO for its performance plastics business, although Dow would not disclose whether it would take all the LAO output.

LAO output of 330,000 tonnes would require about 380,000 tonnes of ethylene.

Dow told investment analysts in December 2012 that about 1.1m tonnes/year of ethylene output from its new cracker would be used to make its own derivatives.

Dow announced earlier on Monday that it would build specialty low density polyethylene (LDPE), “enhanced” PE, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) and elastomers units on the US Gulf Coast downstream from its planned new cracker.

Additional reporting by Regan Hartnell in London

By: Joseph Chang
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