Saturday, May 13, 2017

Hyperdrive: Dow Chemical To Spend $4 Billion In Texas, Michigan, European Expansions -- May 13, 2017

From FuelFix, data points:
  • Dow Chemical will keep its largest industrial campus south of Houston in Freeport and Lake Jackson
  • the expansion will give Freeport the largest ethylene plant in the world
  • Dow is completing a separate $6 billion expansion along the Gulf Coast, but primarily in Freeport
    • the $6 billion expansion includes
    • a "crown jewel" ethane cracker plant; 
    • 1.5 million metric tons a year of ethylene
    • added 500 permanent jobs in Freeport (more than Obama's stimulus did over eight years; fact-checked with Snopes)
  • upcoming Freeport expansion
    • will add two heating furnaces to the cracker's existing eight furnaces
    • updates its total ethylene capacity to 2 million metric tons
    • makes it the world's largest ethylene facility
  • Dow will also build a new 600,000 metric ton plastics plant but hasn't announced if it will also be built in Freeport or Louisiana 
  • Dow will expand some of its existing polyethylene facilities
Much, much more at the link.

Remember when Dow lobbied Congress to half natural gas exports? It looks like there is more than enough to go around.

Toyota: The Dallas Morning News devotes two full pages to Toyota moving into Plano, TX, north of DFW, starting this week, moving in 250 employees per week for the next few months. The story begins at the top of the fold on the front page, and then goes on for two complete pages later in the first section. Even with everything else going on north of DFW, the Toyota story seems to be bigger than life, and mostly off everyone's radar -- until they take time to take a look. When a real estate broker called the Plano's mayor some years ago, the agent said he was representing a company:
that needed 100 acres;
  • that needed a million square feet;
  • that would employ 4,000 employees locally;
  • that was a global 25 company;
  • that would base its US headquarters there; and,
  • provide a median salary of $100,000-plus
The new facility, in fact, is now 2 million square feet, called Legacy West, mos recent cost estimate: $3 billion.

How much did Toyota like Texas. North Carolina offered the company $100 million for the complex; Texas offered $40 million. The company said it was looking for quality-of-life, not cheaper office space.

Things may have reached a peak, but Liberty Mutual and JP Morgan Chase have announced moves to Plano in Toyota's wake. Plano has been a corporate magnate since Frito-Lay's half-million-square-foot HQ set up shop in 1985.

Oldies But Goodies

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