Midland, Michigan – Dow Inc. is idling five production plants, including two elastomer manufacturing units, in the Americas for at least one month in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
The move to idle the facilities is in response to demand trends in the US, Europe and Latin America, said chairman and CEO Jim Fitterling in a first-quarter earnings call 30 April.
In addition to the shutdowns in Americas, Dow’s silicones segment is running at reduced siloxane rates, and the company’s facility in Zhangjiagang, China, will remain down on an extended planned turnaround into May, Fitterling added.
However, the materials supplier expects the “full flexibility” of its silicones operations to enable ‘quick response’ to demand in all formulated silicones applications.
Dow’s polyurethanes business is also “heavily impacted” by government-mandated shutdowns around the world.
“As a result, we're running our polyurethanes assets, including propylene oxide and MDI, at reduced operating rates,” the Dow boss added.
Overall, Dow aims to trim expenses by $350 million (€320 million) and reduce its capital expenditures target for 2020 from $2 billion to $1.25 billion.
The cuts, according to the Dow boss, will maintain ‘long-term competitiveness and most attractive growth projects.’
ERJ sister publicaation Plastics News contributed to this report.