Efforts by the Dow Chemical Co. to produce polyethylene from sugarcane dating back more than five years are once again on the backburner. In a statement sent to TMB, Dow said:
“Dow and Mitsui are postponing the second phase of their joint venture in Santa Vitória Açúcar e Álcool S.A., a planned production unit to manufacture biopolymers from sugarcane, in the city of Santa Vitória, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil…The decision to delay the second phase of the joint venture is driven primarily by an escalation in costs to design, construct and operate the facility, as well as uncertainties around land ownership legislation in Brazil.”
Dow says it remains committed to completing phase one of the project and “also remains focused on delivering innovative polymer solutions made from renewable feedstocks such as sugarcane.”
Dow says it can meet demand growth in the Western Hemisphere through new capacity in the new Gulf Coast that will use U.S. shale gas as a feedstock.
Dow is investing $4 billion in the U.S. Gulf Coast to hike ethylene and propylene capacity through 2017 because of cheap gas.