In 1993, Dow closed its minuscule styrene synthesis plant. Built in the 1960s, it operated at increasingly uncompetitive scale using costly to transport imported benzene feedstock. Its closure released some baseload home market that is or could be supplied by 60 per cent of Huntsman's surplus styrene monomer that is currently exported at marginal terms. In other words, Dow's closure of its styrene plant has contributed to an increase in national production efficiencies - part of the unwinding process from Australia's protectionist era. Their polystyrene and SB latex plants remain in operation with a joint manufacturing marketing operation with Huntsman called Polystyrene Australia.
Dow's polyol plant uses imported propylene oxide competitive through the bulk increasing manufacturing process (using water and low value chemicals).
In January 2007 the polystyrene plant was closed that had been purchasing styrene from Huntsman at West Footscray. It had a capacity of 35 000 metric tons and by that time employing just 17.
Dow and Huntsman agreed to dissolve the polystyrene marketing joint venture formed in 1996:
November 22, 2006
(Australia) Limited (DCAL) and Huntsman Chemicals Corporation Australia
Pty Limited (HCCA), joint shareholders of Polystyrene Australia Pty Limited (PSA),
announced today they will end the joint venture's sales activities by December 31,
in 1996, is a 50:50 marketing joint venture between DCAL and HCCA, which
markets and sells polystyrene resins produced in both parent companies' polystyrene
plants located in Melbourne, Australia.
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