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Dow Chemical’s PDH unit back up next week; TX-9 cracker 70% complete

HOUSTON, July 28, 2016 (PCW) –- Dow Chemical executives on Thursday said they expect the company’s 1.65 billion lb/yr propane dehydrogenation unit in Texas to be returned to service next week.

Dow president Jim Fitterling said the PDH unit had two unit issues, the first with a heat exchanger and the second with a dryer bed in the unit.

“These are not fundamental long-term problems,” Fitterling said. “These are just problems with the startup of a massive unit. The team has solved a couple of mechanical problems and made some improvements.”

Fitterling added the unit had produced 500 million pounds of propylene so far this year.

The PDH unit, only the second of its kind in the US, came online in late December and reached full production rates in early March. The unit was taken down for planned maintenance in late March and shut again May 18 due to a compressor trip. It returned to service in late June, but had been reportedly running at reduced rates.

Meanwhile, the company’s 3.3 billion lb/yr TX-9 cracker in Freeport is 70% complete with mechanical completion expected in the beginning of 2Q 2017. The plant is expected to be operational by the middle of next year, Fitterling said. -- Samantha Hartke

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