Expected to start production in 2011, the manufacturing facility will have a capacity of 350,000 metric tons. The venture will combine Dow’s experience in polyethylene with Crystalsev’s experience in ethanol to serve customers in Brazil and future international interest.
At a molecular level, the new product will be identical to the DOWLEX™ polyethylene resins manufactured at other Dow facilities. The advantage of this material, versus most renewable resource-based plastics, is that customers will be using a drop-in replacement made with a renewable resource, not a different polymer altogether. Like the traditional PE product, the sugar cane-based polyethylene would be fully recyclable using existing infrastructure.