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Dow Chemical to spin off, sell 40 plants

By From staff and wire reports

MIDLAND, Mich. -- Dow Chemical is looking to spin off or sell about 40 manufacturing plants from its business as it continues to move away from cyclical commodity products.

Dow's West Virginia operations, including its South Charleston plant, will not be affected by any of the deals, a company representative confirmed Monday. 

Dow said it expects the spin-offs and sales to happen within the next one to two years. Almost 2,000 workers will be affected by the moves.

The affected plants include Dow's U.S. Gulf Coast chlor-alkali and chlor-vinyl facilities in Plaquemine, La., and Freeport, Texas, including Dow's interest in the Dow Mitsui Chlor-Alkali joint venture in Freeport, Texas.

The moves also affect the company's global chlorinated organics production plants in Freeport, Texas; Plaquemine, La. and Stade, Germany; the global epoxy business, including assets in Freeport, Texas; Roberta, Ga.; Rheinmuenster, Germany; Pisticci, Italy; Baltringen, Germany; Stade, Germany; Gumi, South Korea; Zhangjiagang, China and Guaruja, Brazil; its brine and select assets supporting operations in Freeport, Texas, and Plaquemine, La., and energy operations in Plaquemine, La.

The businesses "are serving markets Dow has exited over time," Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said in a statement.

They generate up to $5 billion of total annual revenue for the company.

"Separating these business units will allow us to further optimize the way they can be operated; and we believe different owners will be able to extract maximum value from these highly competitive assets and their related markets," he added.

Dow Chemical, based in Midland, Mich., also said that it will shut down about 800,000 tons of chlorine and other capacity in Freeport, Texas. The void will be replaced with supply from new plants that will come online with the start-up of the Dow Mitsui joint venture early next year.


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