Midland, Michigan-Dow Polyurethanes says it will shut down its production plant for MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) in Estarreja, Portugal for routine maintenance in late February.
The four-week turnaround will involve equipment repairs and replacements, reactor inspections, and process adjustments, said Dow's 21 Feb announcement.
In September 2006, Dow announced plans to expand MDI capacity at Estarreja, where it says current capacity represents about 20 percent of Dow's global MDI capacity. This unspecified increase, which is due to be complete in 2009, will help supply growing global demand for MDI, to make polyurethanes for uses including construction, appliance, adhesives and sealants, Dow said.
"While the MDI market in Europe is currently balanced, industry-wide periodic shutdowns put pressure on supply," said Steven English, business director for Dow Isocyanates, a business unit of Dow Polyurethanes, in Dow's statement. "Therefore, we build stock in advance of these turnarounds to meet customer needs. We have been preparing for this turnaround for several months and, as a result, we are well-positioned to continue to deliver MDI to our customers without disruption." "