The styrene producers also have a keen interest in POSM
technology, as POSM
plants now supply 22% of the world market.
Lyondell will contribute its POSM technology and its overall operating and technical experience in exchange for a share of the propylene oxide (PO) profitability from the plant.
Along with Lyondell's POSM plants near Houston and Rotterdam, the Ningbo facility will top the list of the world's largest POSM assets.
A direct PO plant costs less to build than a POSM, PO/TBA or chlorohydrin plant.
Lyondell also is building a new POSM plant in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, scheduled for start-up in 2003.
We review supply/demand balances on a regular basis and will adjust the timing for the POSM project as necessary," he said.
These expansions, which roughly equal one-third of the capacity that will be provided by the POSM project, will allow a delay in the project while at the same time adequately meet our revised forecast for demand," Wood said.
The capability to use either chlorohydrin or POSM technology will provide Dow with the flexibility to practice the most appropriate and cost effective technology on a site-by-site basis around the world, assuring that we will remain a leader in supplying low-cost PO derivatives," he said.
The new plant will be the first Dow facility to utilize a co-product POSM process.
Dow's Board of Directors has authorized engineering funds to construct this facility based on POSM technology licensed from the Russian chemical company Nizhnekamskneftekhim (NKNK).
The addition of new POSM technology to Dow's manufacturing options is an important step in maintaining Dow's leadership position as a low-cost producer of PO derivatives," said Bob Wood, business group president for Polyurethanes, Polyurethane Systems, Propylene Oxide and Propylene Glycol, Epoxy Resins and Intermediates, and Concepture.
In addition, Dow's position as the world's largest consumer and producer of styrene also provides the company with a competitive advantage in managing the large volumes of styrene monomer produced by POSM plants.