Dow opens sixth production plant in Thailand

Dow Chemical of the United States opened its sixth production plant at Thailand’s Asia Industrial Estate last week to produce polyol, the main ingredient for hard polyurethane foam used in construction, securing Thailand as Dow’s largest manufacturing base in Asia and the Pacific.

“This new plant is an important milestone in our expansion in Asia-Pacific, demonstrating our long-term commitment to the country and the region,” said Chatchai Luanpolcharoenchai, president of Dow Thailand.

Dow has a total of 16 companies or subsidiaries operating in Thailand, making the Kingdom the firm’s manufacturing hub in the Asia-Pacific region. Dow Thailand had revenues of over $3.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year, and produced 2.13 million tons of chemicals in the Kingdom.

Polyol is a raw material for manufacturing rigid polyurethane foam products. Those products improve energy efficiency in a wide range of construction, professional cold chain and appliance applications, such as keeping food fresh for longer periods and preventing home energy losses, thereby increasing energy efficiency.

Increasing energy efficiency is a goal the Thai government has included in its national energy policy, which also calls for raising the percentage of energy produced from renewables and alternative sources over the next two decades.

Dow’s new plant will be able to produce over 79,000 tons of polyol annually and is intended to strengthen the firm’s upstream integration in Thailand. The company said the new plant was built according to in-house specifications that are designed to minimize the facility’s environmental footprint.

“The Rayong facility is an important addition to Dow’s global polyurethanes manufacturing network, further enabling us to deliver industrial products and create lasting social, environmental and economic benefits throughout the entire product lifecycle,” said Jane Palmieri, Dow’s executive overseeing polyurethanes production.

She said the Thai plant was part of Dow’s increasing investment in polyurethanes in Asia and the Pacific. The company recently opened polyurethane production facilities in China and India.

Chatchai of Dow added that “with this boost in capacity and use of advanced technologies, we are better positioned to meet customer demand.”