Dow's new plastics plant on Texas Gulf Coast nears completion
Dow Chemical said Tuesday it completed construction of its new plastics plant south of Houston as it nears finalizing its overall expansion effort.The shale gas revolution has spurred this industrial progress that gives US plants a competitive advantage. It is creating jobs and reducing the cost of goods to consumers. The anti-energy left has been dead wrong about the benefits of fracking and it also has no viable alternative to the petrochemical business.
The new polyethylene plant, which can churn out 400,000 metric tons of plastic a year, is part of Dow's more than $6 billion expansion along the Gulf Coast, primarily at its massive Freeport campus.
The project comes a little more than two months after Dow finished its crown jewel ethane cracker facility at the campus. The cracker will churn out 1.5 million metric tons a year of ethylene, which is derived from natural gas liquids and is used as the primary building block of most plastics. The facilities will commence operation soon.
"This milestone further reflects the steady progress our teams are making to bring these multi-phased investments online to enhance our cost-advantaged integration and industry-leading innovation," said Jim Fitterling, Dow's president and chief operating officer.
The new plastics plant, which Dow calls its Elite enhanced polyethylene facility, makes plastics to serve as flexible packaging for food, personal hygiene products and industrial packaging.
The final part of the Freeport expansion won't come until late 2018 when Dow finishes its polyolefin elastomers plant. The facility will make polymers that Dow contends bridge the gap between plastics and rubbers. Dow also is in the process expanding its plastics facilities one state over in Plaquemine, Louisiana.
US consumers saving billions of dollars annually thanks to fracking
The shale revolution and hydraulic fracturing helped bring down the price of gasoline before Memorial Day from $3.70 per gallon in 2014 to $2.40 this year. Additionally, the fracking revolution has also caused the value of US imports of crude oil and finished products to drop from $390 billion in 2008 to just $78 billion in 2016.