In addition to clean-water efforts, Dow plans to focus on leveraging its material science capabilities to produce materials for the energy-storage industry. With an initial focus on the automotive market, Dow will sell advantaged materials that will enable manufacturers of rechargeable lithium ion batteries to produce batteries with extended run times, increased power and operational life. Dow anticipates sales will begin in 2012.
Conservative estimates of the energy storage industry project growth from $24 billion today to $74 billion by 2020, with the largest growth opportunity in the automotive market, says Dow.
To meet growing demand in another industry -- and strengthen its final pillar: the right portfolio -- Dow Electronic Materials is establishing a new metalorganic precursor manufacturing plant in Cheonan, Korea. The plant is part of a multi-phase plan announced in June 2010 to expand trimethylgallium (TMG) production. The facility is expected to be operational in early 2011.
Capacity expansion in the United States at existing facilities is also progressing as planned, with new capacity expected by the end of 2010 and continuing through the first quarter of 2011. Total additional capacity resulting from the multi-phase plan is expected to be 60 metric tons per year.
TMG is a metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) precursor material that is experiencing surging demand for the manufacture of LEDs and other compound semiconductor devices.
Moving from the East China Sea to the South China Sea, Dow Advanced Materials broke ground on a new manufacturing facility in Dong Nai Province in southern Vietnam for the production of acrylic and styrene-acrylic polymers used in the paint, coatings, construction, packaging, home and personal care industries. The new plant, scheduled to go on-stream in September 2011, will be shared by three Dow Advanced Materials businesses -- Dow Coating Materials, Dow Building & Construction, and Dow Adhesives & Functional Polymers.
"Growing demand for our polymers from global and local paint and coating manufacturers located in Vietnam was the primary driver for building the new plant," said Yoke Loon Lim, general manager, Southeast Asia, Dow Advanced Materials. "More than 90% of our capacity will be sold to Vietnam-based customers, the majority of which are multi-national companies."
In other news -- and once again reinforcing the human element, Dow Chemical was recognized as the Most Admired Chemical Company in Brazil, according to Carta Capital Magazine. This is the second year Dow has earned this title.
The magazine interviewed 1,164 executives from various economic sectors. The study is inspired by the ranking "The Most Admired Companies," organized by Fortune magazine in the United States, and evaluates criteria such as product quality, brand, innovation, human resources, ethics, business management, solidness, social responsibility and commitment to the local development, besides reputation and ability to compete globally. Dow earned four recognitions from Carta Capital in the past four years: two times as the Most Admired Petrochemical Company (2007 and 2009), and two times as the Most Admired Chemical Company (2009 and 2010).