MIDLAND, MI - Driven by current economic conditions and overcapacity for low-density polyethylene (LDPE) in the North American marketplace, The Dow Chemical Co. has announced the shutdown of its Poly 2 LDPE plant in Freeport, TX.
"The Basic Plastics business carefully evaluated several options, but the supply-demand outlook for LDPE in North America, combined with the age, cost position and the relatively old technology of the Poly 2 plant as well as the need for additional investment do not make continued operation a viable option," said Pieter Platteeuw, Global Business Director, LDPE.
Approximately 40 people are affected and have been notified of the decision. Where possible, efforts will be made to look for redeployment opportunities. Where redeployment is not possible, severance packages will be available.
The Poly 2 shutdown is expected to be completed by end of March 2009. It includes three autoclave low-density reactors with a combined capacity of 225 million pounds. It has been in operation since 1959.
"We are committed to the North America low-density polyethylene market and our customer base," said Platteeuw. "We will work closely with our customers to supply them from our other plants in North America, and expect minimal impact on customers."
Dow and its affiliates continue to operate 25 polyethylene plants around the world, and remain the world's largest producer of polyethylene.