DowDuPont Starts Up World-Scale Ethylene & PE Facility

New integrated, world-scale production facility started up for ethylene monomer and Elite enhanced polyethylene in Freeport, Texas.

In late September, DowDuPont Materials Science, Midland, Mich., a business division of DowDuPont (later to be named Dow), started up its new integrated, world-scale production facility for ethylene monomer and Elite enhanced polyethylene in Freeport, Texas. Both units were expected to reach full rates in the fourth quarter.

The monomer plant will have initial annual capacity of over 3 billion lb and will be expanded to over 4 billion lb, making it the world’s largest ethylene facility. The PE plant will initially produce 882 million lb/yr. Elite resins produced with Dow’s solution process with Insite metallocene catalyst technology range in densities from 0.920 g/cc to 0.962 g/cc and can be applied to a wide variety of film, laminate, rotomolded, and coated products. They are used in multiple types of flexible food and industrial packaging.

The ethylene facility will also support further planned PE debottlenecking, as well as a new world-scale PE unit to meet demand in food and specialty packaging, expected on line by 2022. Other PE assets to come on line include a specialty LDPE unit for industrial and supply-chain packaging, to start up by year’s end; bi-modal gas-phase PE debottlenecking for high- performance pipe and fittings, as well as caps and closures, to start up next year; and high-MI specialty and conventional polyolefin elastomers for high-performance flexible packaging, planned for startup in late 2018.

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