MIDLAND, Mich-- Meeting previously announced targets to re-start the plant by year-end 2012, The Dow Chemical Co. (IW 500/22) today announced that the Company’s St. Charles Olefins 2 Plant near Hahnville, La. began producing on-spec ethylene on December 25, 2012.

The plant was idled in January 2009

“The start-up of our St. Charles ethylene plant represents the first major milestone within our U.S. Gulf Coast investment strategy,” said Brian Ames, president, Dow Olefins, Aromatics and Alternatives.

“This action further reduces the company’s purchased ethylene, lowering costs and strengthening the competitiveness of our high-margin, high-growth derivatives businesses,” he added

This milestone is part of Dow’s comprehensive investment plan to further connect its U.S. operations with cost-advantaged feedstocks from increasing supplies of U.S. shale gas and deliver long-term competitive advantage for Dow’s downstream businesses.

Plans to increase ethylene and propylene supply and ethane cracking capabilities at existing U.S. Gulf Coast facilities strengthen its ‘competitiveness and enable profitable growth in the Americas,” Dow said.