The Dow Chemical Company will invest $1.7 billion in a new ethylene cracker production facility at its Freeport, Texas, Operations Center that will employ up to 2,000 workers during construction and more than 150 full time workers.
"Dow is proud to be making a significant investment in Texas with the construction of a new world-scale ethylene production plant, a key part of our comprehensive plan to further connect our U.S. operations with cost-advantaged feedstocks available from increasing supplies of U.S. shale gas," said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We received a lot of support from our local community and from this business-friendly state via the Texas Enterprise Fund, and are proud to expand upon our longstanding history of investing in Texas."
"Constructing this new ethylene cracker at Dow Texas Operations will create a long-term advantage for our downstream businesses and for our company as a whole. The benefits will accrue not only to Dow but to the state and national economy," Liveris added.
As part of an incentive package Gov. Rick Perry said his state will provide Dow $1 million in Texas Enterprise Funds to offset the cost of building the cracker. "This announcement is great news for Texas, and even better news for the people who will eventually work at this new facility thanks to this TEF investment," he said. This will be Dow's largest ethylene cracker worldwide, and will use U.S. produced shale gas and natural gas liquids.
"The outlook for advantaged U.S. natural gas was a significant factor in Dow's decision to invest $4 billion to grow our overall ethylene and propylene production capabilities in the U.S. Gulf Coast region," said Jim Fitterling, Dow Executive Vice President and President of Feedstocks, Energy and Corporate Development.
Liveris explained "for the first time in over a decade, U.S. natural gas prices are affordable and relatively stable, attracting new industry investments and growth and putting us on the threshold of an American manufacturing resurgence. Dow is proud to have been among the first manufacturing companies to declare a comprehensive plan to take advantage of these favorable market dynamics, further enhancing our footprint in the Americas and the profitability of our global businesses, while supporting economic revitalization in the communities in which we operate."