Dow, Midland, Mich., will further extend part of its polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (PMDI) operations at its LaPorte, Texas, facility, while the company's new 500 million lb. PMDI facility in Freeport, Texas, continues its start-up process.

Dow also announced that the Force Majeure it had declared for its MDI products in North America has been lifted. However, the company added that an order control is in place for North American MDI due to continued strong demand and limited inventories.

"With MDI in such high demand, we are fortunate to have the ability to extend operations at our LaPorte facility, which will enable us to continue to meet the majority of our customers' needs while Freeport becomes fully operational," says Chuck Reardon, North American product market manager for polyurethanes at Dow.

"The extension of our LaPorte facility will allow us to counterbalance the slower than expected start-up at Freeport and offer better security of supply moving forward," notes Reardon. He says that Dow does not anticipate a net increase in capacity, resulting in the need for an order control to help manage product allocation in this sold-out MDI market. "Once the new Freeport plant is running at designed rates, we intend to shut-down the LaPorte plant as originally announced," Reardon says.

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