Dow Polyurethanes, a business group of The Dow Chemical Company and a leading producer of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), announced the signing of a letter of intent (LOI) with Jilin Connell Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Jilin Connell Group, aimed at providing U.S. Gulf Coast aniline supply for growth in its polyurethanes business. Jilin Connell Group, a privately-held company, was formed in 1991. Its subsidiary, Jilin Connell Chemical Company (Jilin Connell), is the top merchant aniline producer and distributor in China and has announced expansion plans that would position it as the largest in the world.
Dow operates the largest single-train crude MDI plant in the world today from its Freeport, Texas site; therefore, the company said competitive U.S. aniline supply is critical to meet their customers' needs in a variety of markets and applications, including energy efficient rigid and spray foam insulation solutions for appliances, building and construction; lifestyle-enhancing molded and viscoelastic foams for furniture, bedding and automotive applications; and other adhesive and coating systems for footwear and fibers. The LOI with Jilin Connell concerns the exploration of opportunities for future technical and commercial collaboration in the industrial production of aniline. Discussions include plant location options such as the possibility of Jilin Connell building a fence line plant at Dow's site in Freeport.
Dow said this project represents its commitment to the U.S. manufacturing sector, in addition to its interest in leveraging its engagement in China to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) and job creation by Chinese companies in the U.S.
A signing ceremony took place in Los Angeles, Calif., as part of a Chinese delegation's visit to the U.S. and Canada to sign a number of potential investment collaborations including the one with Dow.