Dow upgrades local facility

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

Dow has announced its Hanging Rock facility will be upgraded to make a new type of Styrofoam.

Like many companies, Dow is going green.

Dow will use a next-generation foaming agent technology that will allow it to manufacture Styrofoam R5/inch insulation; which the company says has a zero ozone-depletion factor and will cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half for North America.

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The new formula eliminates the hydrochloro-fluorocarbon 142b, an ozone-depleting compound U.S. and Canadian regulations under the Montreal Protocol require be phased out by 2010 in North America, and replaced with a non-ozone depleting compound.

“By developing this solution well-ahead of North American compliance deadlines, we can assure our customers of an uninterrupted supply of Styrofoam R5/inch insulation, and continue to grow our flagship Styrofoam brand franchise,” said Torsten Kraef, Dow Building Solutions president and general manager.

Dow has begun conversion to the next-generation foaming agent at North American Styrofoam production facilities, investing in new technology, new capacity and optimizing its overall grid for sustainability. In particular, the company is upgrading production capability for most of its existing production sites including its Hanging Rock site in Ironton.

Rosemarie Rung, a public affairs leader for Dow, said activities are already underway to modify equipment in preparation for the conversion.

“The upgrade consists of modifications to existing equipment that will enable us to accommodate the new raw materials used to make the improved product,” she said, adding that the conversion will begin in later 2008.

Dow offers a broad range of products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Dow has annual sales of $49 billion and employs 43,000 people worldwide.