Dow expands propylene glycol capacity in Thailand
Photo courtesy of Dow

Dow expands propylene glycol capacity in Thailand

Dow has announced the start-up of a significant expansion in its propylene glycol (PG) production capacity at its integrated manufacturing facility in Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Thailand. This expansion increases the facility’s PG production by 80,000 tons per year, bringing the total capacity to 250,000 tons per year, making it the largest PG manufacturing facility in the Asia-Pacific region.

This low capital intensity, higher-return investment is designed to meet the growing demand in downstream high-value PG markets such as personal care, pharmaceuticals, food, and flavor & fragrance industries. The back-integration at the Map Ta Phut site ensures a cost-competitive supply of key upstream raw materials, such as propylene oxide (PO), enhancing reliability and supporting growth.

Propylene glycol is used as an additive in certain lubricants, especially where non-toxicity and biodegradability are important. PG is often found in lubricants used in food processing machinery because it is non-toxic and safe for incidental contact with food. Some hydraulic fluids use propylene glycol for its antifreeze properties and to provide a safer alternative to traditional petroleum-based fluids. PG is used in formulations to de-ice and anti-ice aircraft due to its low toxicity and effective freezing point depression.

Jane Palmieri, president of Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure at Dow, stated, “As one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic regions in the world, this capacity expansion helps strengthen our innovation and manufacturing capabilities for our customers in Asia-Pacific and beyond.” The expansion optimises Dow’s existing asset infrastructure and reinforces its regional and global leadership position in the industry.

Sustainability initiatives

Dow’s PG franchise is known for upgrading basic chemical building blocks into high-quality ingredients for various everyday products. The company is advancing sustainable PG production by using lower carbon energy sources and implementing bio-circular and circular feedstocks through the mass balance approach under ISCC PLUS certification. Dow has already launched new PG solutions with verified sustainability benefits in North America, Europe, and Latin America and aims to secure ISCC PLUS certification for the Map Ta Phut facility by the end of 2024.

Dow is a leading materials science company with a diverse portfolio that serves high-growth markets such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility, and consumer applications. Operating in 31 countries with approximately 35,900 employees, Dow reported sales of around USD45 billion in 2023. The company’s focus on sustainability and innovation continues to drive its growth and industry leadership.