Dow to build 900 000 tonne/yr cracker in Seadrift, Texas

Source: ICIS News


HOUSTON (CNI)--Dow Chemical said Monday it will build a 900 000 tonne/year ethylene cracker expected to be completed by 2007 in Seadrift, Texas.

Dow had previously announced plans for the cracker - which will use ethane and propane as feedstocks - but had not determined the location. The company declined to provide an estimated cost for the cracker.

Dow announced last November plans to permanently close its existing Seadrift and Texas City, Texas, olefins plants by 2005. The two crackers have a combined capacity of just under 1.1m tonne/year. The exact timing of the shutdowns is dependent on progress with the new cracker project, Dow said today.

The Midland, Michigan-based company added it will undertake capital projects next year "to maintain the existing site integration benefits at both locations."

Theo Walthie, business group president hydrocarbons and energy and ethylene oxide-ethylene glycol, said the shortfall in ethylene between the shutdowns and the start-up of the replacement capacity "will be bridged through substantial purchase agreements and internally driven efficiencies."

Walthie said in a statement that Dow’s integrated infrastructure provides flexibility for securing the company's US Gulf ethylene needs.

He added: "This allows us to align the timing of a new plant with our needs and favourable industry conditions while securing cost competitive and reliable ethylene."