Dow to build MDI and prepolymer distillation plant in Freeport

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Chemicals maker Dow said on Wednesday it would build a methylene diphenyl isocyanate and prepolymer distillation facility at its Freeport manufacturing site, and shut down its polyurethane assets at the company’s La Porte site.

Methylene diphenyl isocyanate is a chemical used primarily to make polyurethane. Polyurethanes are used in foams, insulation, textiles and automotive manufacturing.

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Upon completion of the new Freeport MDI facility in 2023, the company will shut down its polyurethane assets at the La Porte site, the statement said.

Dow, headquartered in Michigan, operates a facility in Deer Park as well as the 139-acre facility at La Porte, which employs 225 employees.

In 1985, Dow purchased the La Porte plant, built in 1960 by the Carwin Company of North Haven, Connecticut, to produce isocyanates, used in the production of automobiles, boats, athletic shoes, insulation home, appliances, clothing, coolers, cosmetics, pet food, pharmaceuticals, toothbrushes, dyes, paints and vitamins.

In 1962, the La Porte plant was purchased by the Upjohn company and expanded to include the production of polyurethane.

Jane Palmieri, president of Dow’s Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure operating segment, said in the statement that the integration of MDI at the company’s Freeport site “creates a competitive supply of key upstream polyurethane raw materials, secures a position reliable supply to support our growth in high value-added polyurethane downstream markets and provide a more sustainable production process.

Palmieri also said the investment allows Dow to support the growth of downstream systems customers.


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