Silicones in the spotlight
Multinational chemicals giant, Dow Chemical Company and Japan’s Shin-Etsu Chemical Company are investing in their silicones franchises.
Dow’s investment plans include a series of incremental siloxane debottlenecking and efficiency improvement projects over the next three years to increase production at its manufacturing facilities around the world. It will also build a new hydroxyl functional siloxane polymer plant in Carrollton, Kentucky, US, which will increase Dow’s polymer capacity in the US by 65%.
Additional expansion projects include a new speciality resin plant in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu, China, which will provide resin intermediates for high value silicone products.
The company has also announced the start of a feasibility study for the construction of a new, world-scale siloxane plant. Its location is yet to be determined.
Shin-Etsu is investing ¥110 billion (US$982.2 million) in facilities for its silicones business over a period of 2.5 years. It will expand its production capacity of silicone monomer, the intermediate product of silicones, and various types of silicone fluids, resins and rubber end products at the company’s main bases in Japan and around the world.