K2 Will Build, Operate Bleach Plant at Dow Site

The Dow Chemical Co. and K2 Pure Solutions have announced an agreement for K2 to build and operate a bleach plant at Dow's Pittsburg, Calif., site. The new plant will serve municipal water treatment markets in Northern California, according to a Dec. 17 press release.

Furthermore, K2 will lease to Dow an additional facility, which K2 will operate to generate chlorine and caustic soda for use by Dow via pipeline. Dow will use these materials to manufacture crop protection products at its Pittsburg, Calif., site. K2 will fund construction of this facility on land leased from Dow. As part of the agreement, Dow will provide necessary raw materials and essential infrastructure for this leased facility.

“When complete, the project with K2 will provide Dow with a strategically located, low-cost raw material source for its growing agricultural business,” said John Sampson, global business director, Dow Chlor-alkali. “In addition, the project will allow us to strengthen an essential, basic raw material supply, while sharing capital costs and improving our cost structure through further integration at the Pittsburg site. This is consistent with Dow’s asset-light strategy for fundamental feedstock investments that support the growth of downstream Performance businesses, such as agricultural chemicals.”

“K2 is pleased to work with Dow, a global leader in the chemical industry and begin operations in Pittsburg with such a large reputable company,” said K2’s Executive Chair David Cynamon. “This 20-year agreement will allow K2 to satisfy the growing demand for water treatment materials in Northern California for the long-term.”

The entire project, including both facilities, will have an annual capacity of 460 million pounds of chlor-alkali products, with initial bleach production expected in the fourth quarter of 2010. 

 “K2 will utilize Inherently Safe salt-to-bleach technology, an emerging, sustainable process that utilizes salt, water, and electricity as the principal raw materials necessary to produce bleach and chlor-alkali products” said Cynamon. “In addition, K2 will purchase hydrogen from Dow for reuse in its process for a number of applications, including use as a clean fuel that avoids the emission of CO2, a greenhouse gas.”

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