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Dow Epoxy to invest $200 million in Chinese production and customer service facilities.

Dow Epoxy, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI, has announced plans to invest more than $200 million in manufacturing and R & D facilities in China over the next five years.

As part of the investment, the company plans to build a 100,000 MTPA world-scale liquid epoxy resins (LER) plant at its existing Yangtze River International Chemical Park site in Zhangjiagang and a 150,000 MTPA epichlorohydrin (ECH) plant at a soon-to-be-announced site. Both facilities are expected to become operational in the 2009-2010 time frame. The LER plant will be the first of its kind in China.

In addition, Dow Epoxy plans to expand the capacity of its converted epoxy resins (CER) plant in Zhangjiagang from its current level of 41,000 MTPA to 75,000 MTPA. The company will also establish a Global Application Development Center in China to provide more customer support in China and across the region. It will primarily service customers in the electrical laminates and coatings market and also be home to product research and development activities.

The new 150,000 MTPA epichlorohydrin plant will be the first to use a new proprietary glycerine-to-epichlorohydrin technology developed by Dow. Glycerine is a bio-renewable product generated during bio-diesel production. Using it as the primary feedstock in the ECH manufacturing process will reportedly provide significant cost savings and environmental advantages compared to the conventional process technologies.

"China is the world's fastest growing market for epoxy products and, together with other Asian markets, plays an important role for Dow and our customers. The new investments demonstrate our confidence and commitment to the China market and to our customers," says Patrick Ho, business vice president, Dow Epoxy. "Dow Epoxy is a leading supplier in China and the Asia Pacific region, building on our global supply network and market-focused R & D capabilities. Our investments in ECH and LER production in China would give us in-market supply capabilities and the advantage of a fully-integrated operation, which would put us in a uniquely competitive position to accelerate our growth and the growth of our customers."
COPYRIGHT 2006 Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology
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Title Annotation:Business & Industry
Publication:JCT CoatingsTech
Date:Oct 1, 2006
Words:346
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