Dow to Build Alkanolamine Plant


Dow Chemical Co. announced last week that it will build an integrated world-class specialty alkanolamine plant in Plaquemine, La., to replace existing facilities in Midland, Mich., and South Charleston, W.Va. The company did not disclose the cost of the new plant, which is scheduled to open in early 2007.

Dows specialty alkanolamine business supplies chemicals such as alkyl alkanolamines, ethyeleneamines and ethylonamines used in metalworking fluids and other lubricants as emulsifiers, corrosion inhibitors, pour-point depressants and extreme pressure agents. The company said it decided to build the Plaquemine facility primarily to accommodate the liquefied natural gas industry and North American refiners, both of which are using growing amounts of isopropanolamines for gas treatment.

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Officials said the new plant will have better economies of scale than the smaller facilities that it replaces, and that it will have more flexibility in the mix of products it makes. They added that supply of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide – key raw materials – is already in place, reducing the cost of the capital investment.

Dow Amines has production facilities in Freeport and Victoria, Texas, Taft, La., and Terneuzen, Netherlands, and in Malaysia through Optimal Chemicals, a joint venture with Petroliam Nasional Berhad. Dow is based in Midland.

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