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The Dow Chemical Company on December 1 announced that its largest manufacturing facility in Brazil, the Aratu Complex, will add biomass to its portfolio of clean energy sources by the end of 2012. Upon project completion in December 2012, Aratu will be more than 75 percent sourced for power and steam through hydropower and eucalyptus cogeneration.
Eucalyptus wood biomass will be used to produce steam for the site’s chlor-alkali and chlorohydrin production processes. Dow has signed a supply agreement with Energias Renováveis do Brasil (ERB), which will invest, install and operate the biomass co-generation plant. The plant is expected to reduce the site’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 180,000 metric tons annually, and conserve 200,000 m3 of natural gas daily. The agreement will also enable carbon credits for Dow through the CO2 emission savings.
“At Dow, we’re focused on energy solutions that will unlock dramatic improvements in our energy profile as well as that of our customers and partners,” said Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive officer of Dow. “Our commitment to a sustainable energy future, like the Aratu project, will continue to drive unparalleled economic and societal benefits.”
The Aratu site currently receives all of its electricity from hydropower, and will be the first petrochemical user of biomass in Brazil through the supply agreement. The steam produced by the co-generation plant will be integral to the manufacture of materials for the automotive, building and industrial sectors.
“The new agreement at Aratu represents a significant milestone in our strategy to implement clean energy technology in our operations and advance our leadership in energy efficiency and carbon management,” said Doug May, vice president of energy and climate change at Dow.
From 1994 to 2009, Dow has conserved over 1,700 trillion Btu of energy from its operations, which is the equivalent to the electrical energy used by all residential buildings in California for a full year. Dow’s energy efficiency efforts have also prevented more than 90 million metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
About The Dow Chemical Company
Dow connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2009, Dow had annual sales of $45 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 214 sites in 37 countries across the globe.