Texas PDH plant now 60% complete – Dow exec

Source: ICIS News

2015/09/17

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Commissioning of Dow Chemical’s propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in Freeport, Texas, is now 60% complete, a senior company executive said on Thursday.

"We have all the required utilities in service, about 60% of the commissioning is complete, and we expect to have commercial contributions from this unit in the fourth quarter," Jim Fitterling, Dow vice chairman, business operations, said in an update during a webcast investor event in New York.

The project, first announced in 2011, has a capacity of 750,000 tonnes/year of propylene.

Fitterling also said that construction of Dow’s new cracker in Texas is now about 25% complete. The ethane cracker will have an initial propane feedstock flexibility of up to 30%.

Propane was often more advantaged than ethane as a feedstock, "and propane is still going to be long for quite some time on the US Gulf Coast," he said.

"When we talk about increasing our capability to crack more ethane in our US Gulf Coast assets, we don’t give up the capability to crack propane or naphtha in those assets," he added.

"Feedstock flexibility has been a hallmark of Dow’s strategy for many, many years, and we add flexibility to that fleet [of assets], not take away flexibility," he said.

In related news this week, analysts said that the drop in oil prices made investments in PDH plants less attractive in the US.

Additional reporting by Al Greenwood