Engineering News

Dow to invest $200 mln in China epoxy business
Wed Aug 9, 2006 4:11am ET

BEIJING, Aug 9 (Reuters) - A unit of top U.S. chemicals maker Dow Chemical Co. plans to invest $200 million to expand its epoxy business in China, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday. Epoxy products are used in a range of products from coatings and electrical laminates to civil engineering.

At its current base in Zhangjiagang, Dow plans to build a 100,000 tonne per year liquid epoxy resins plant, its first in China, which is expected to start up in 2009.

The firm also plans to build an epichlorohydrin plant with capacity to churn out 150,000 tonnes per year in a second location. Dow says it already has more than one-third of global manufacturing capacity for the chemical.

The investment would include a research and development centre in Shanghai, and doubling capacity at an existing epoxy resins plant in Zhangjiagang, the statement said.

"China is the world's fastest growing market for epoxy products and, together with other Asian markets, plays an important role for Dow and our customers," the firm quoted Patrick Ho, business vice president at Dow Epoxy as saying.

Dow is looking for larger scale projects in China as well, with rivals like BASF racing far ahead in investment -- but has declined to comment on reports it might enter a joint venture refinery project.

The chief executive of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. said earlier this year that Dow and either British Petroleum or Shell might be partners in a joint-venture refinery and petrochemical project in Guangdong in southern China, which Kuwait is considering building with Sinopec.

Dow, which makes products used in everything from paints and cleaning products to cars and electronics, has so far invested $500 million in 10 manufacturing sites in China.

Source: Hexion Specialty Chemicals, Inc.

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