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Dow Portugal celebrates 30 years of growth

Published on 2009-07-08. Author : SpecialChem

Portugal, Estarreja -- Dow Portugal, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, completed 30 years on July 7 and one more reason to celebrate - the completion of two projects to increase production capacity. The newly expanded plants will enable Dow to double its MDI capacity at its Estarreja site, reinforcing its commitment to addressing market needs for this essential raw material. In addition, Dow Building Solutions announced the startup of a second STYROFOAM™ production line, one of the most effective manufacturing facilities for STYROFOAM in the world.

"As it celebrates 30 years in Portugal, Dow is renewing its commitment to Estarreja and the region", said Anton Valero, Dow's President for the Iberian region. The project also included improvements to production processes and the construction of an enclosed phosgene production unit, which significantly improves the overall safety of the operations at the site. "Boosting safety and protecting the environment are, and always will be, our top priority", declared Valero.

Work on the project took place over a period of almost three years and involved investments of approximately €65 million. The project involved the employment of hundreds of local contractors and craftsmen, who were hired to work the project.

"We are very proud to see Estarreja become one of Dow's leading production facilities around the world. The operating excellence of our employees and the commitment and support of the Portuguese government have been key factors in making this happen," said Washington Dantas, Estarreja site leader.

"The expansion is the result of a great relationship with our suppliers and the Portuguese government, and enables Dow to provide customers with quality products from our world-scale facilities," said Pat Dawson, president of Dow Polyurethanes. "This expansion is the most recent example of Dow's commitment to the MDI market and our ability to supply our customers long-term."

"Starting up the new STYROFOAM line will help to ensure ongoing availability of one of our most popular product lines in the Iberian region, and put us in a good position for a future upturn in the construction sector, whilst reinforcing our commitment to the Iberian market", explained Neil Ryan, General Manager Dow Building Solutions in Europe. STYROFOAM is used extensively as thermal insulation in the building industry creating an energy efficient future in construction whilst contributing to thermal efficiency targets in the battle against climate change.

The investment project orchestrated by Dow Portugal was supported by Portugal's Agency for Foreign Investment and Trade (AICEP). "These expansion plans are essential for the growth of our chemical cluster in Estarreja, and demonstrate Dow's confidence in the Portuguese economy and its workforce," stated the Chairman of AICEP, Basilio Horta, "This project is yet another example of the country's competitiveness for attracting investment, even in difficult times for the economy."

About Dow

With sales of $58 billion in 2008 and 46,000 employees worldwide, Dow is a diversified chemical company that combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in around 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. On April 1, 2009, Dow acquired Rohm and Haas Company, a global specialty materials company with sales of $10 billion in 2008 and 15,000 employees worldwide. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

About Dow Polyurethanes

Dow is the world's largest producer of propylene oxide (PO), polyether polyols, and is a leading producer of quality aromatic isocyanates, such as MDI and TDI, an essential component of polyether polyols. Dow's Polyurethane products and fully formulated Polyurethane systems are used for a broad range of applications including construction, automotive, appliance, furniture, bedding and shoe soles to decorative molding, athletic equipment and more. The business manufactures and markets Polyurethane products and Polyurethane systems that create rigid, semi-rigid and flexible foams, adhesives, sealants, coatings, elastomers and binders. Dow also offers the latest in polyol technology with RENUVA™ Renewable Resource Technology and VORANOL™ VORACTIV™ polyols, part of an ongoing initiative by Dow to lead the industry in providing high-performance products.

About Dow Building Solutions

Dow Building Solutions has a 60+ year legacy of providing energy saving solutions to the global commercial and residential construction industry, which began with the launch of its flagship STYROFOAM™ Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Foam Insulation, one of the most recognized brands of insulation in the world. A market-facing business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, Dow Building Solutions offers unsurpassed building science expertise to help builders, designers, architects and homeowners reduce energy costs and protect against wind, rain and moisture, while contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Dow

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