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Dow PE unit completed, to be fully operational with cracker in 4Q

HOUSTON, June 6, 2017 (PCW) –- Dow on Tuesday said it had completed construction of its new, 400,000 mt/yr (880 million lbs/yr) polyethylene unit at Freeport.

The unit is the first of four new derivative units now under way at Dow’s manufacturing sites in Texas and Louisiana as part of the company’s $6 billion expansion on the Gulf Coast.

The unit will now begin the commissioning and start-up phase alongside the mid-year start-up of Dow’s new 1.5 million mt/yr (3.3 billion lbs/yr) ethylene facility, also located in Freeport. The plant is expected to ramp up in 3Q and be fully operational in 4Q.

Dow’s other three derivative units and planned debottleneck are on schedule and expected to come online through next year, the company said. These are: a new, 350,000 mt/yr (770 million lbs/yr) specialty low density polyethylene, which is expected to come online at the same time as the cracker; a 200,000 mt/yr (440 million lbs/yr) NORDEL™ metallocene EPDM unit in early 2018; a 125,000 mt/yr (275 million lbs/yr) bi-modal gas phase de-bottleneck to enable more offerings for high-performance pipe and fitting applications in 2018; and a 320,000 mt/yr (704 million lbs/yr) high melt index specialty and conventional polyolefin elastomers unit in late 2018. -- Samantha Hartke

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