Dow Epoxy, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), has announced plans to expand Liquid Epoxy Resin (LER) capacity at its plant in Stade, Germany. This expansion will provide additional capacity as early as fourth quarter 2012, and will increase capacity by 30 KTA, a 10% increase in the Company's global LER capacity.
The new capacity will be used to keep pace with expected market growth in specialty applications, while also supporting geographic growth throughout Europe, the Middle East, China, and India.
"Dow is committed to the epoxy business and to supporting growth with our global strategic customers," says Kevin Dillan, Global Business Director, Dow Epoxy. "This investment will provide us with reliable supply of epoxy resin from a world-class manufacturing facility."
Ralf Brinkmann, President of Dow Germany, adds, "Germany's leadership in sustainability driven innovations makes the country an excellent place for such an investment. An expanded LER capacity in Stade will allow us to increase our contribution to key technology developments."
Ensuring integration strength for its downstream businesses is one of Dow's key priorities. The Company's back integration into key epoxy components and raw materials will help ensure reliable supply of the LER for specialty growth applications such as wind energy, composites, electronic materials and coatings. Bisphenol A (BPA) and Epichorohydrine, components used to manufacture LER, are produced at the Stade site, and Dow plans to re-start operations of the idle 100 KTA Epichlorohydrine asset in Freeport, Texas. The Company's reliable epoxy supply is bolstered by its back integration into cumene, a raw material used to produce phenol and acetone, key components in BPA. Further supporting the LER expansion is the recent investment in chlorine through a 50:50 manufacturing joint venture with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan to construct, own and operate a new membrane chlor-alkali facility located at Dow's Freeport, Texas, integrated manufacturing complex.