Dow Forms 'Water Solutions' Business

Dow Forms 'Water Solutions' Business

Dow Chemical says it will launch a business unit comprised of brands and technologies designed to advance the science of desalination, water purification, contaminant removal and water recycling.

The new business unit, Dow Water Solutions, will focus on meeting the needs of the company's water industry customers by leveraging the capabilities and technologies within its various businesses.

"This move underscores Dow's commitment to strengthen its Performance business portfolio by prioritizing marketing and application development activities that support high-value, end-use applications," says Andrew Liveris, Dow's chairman and chief executive officer. "Dow Water Solutions will provide a range of competitive water treatment products that allow our customers to stimulate and capture industry growth, while continuing to improve access to higher quality water supplies that are more affordable and sustainable for communities and industries worldwide."

Part of Dow's strategy is to focus on developing more technology-driven, market facing businesses to accelerate a portfolio shift to Performance businesses, driving higher growth and more consistent profitability for the company. The new framework for Dow Water Solutions also further solidifies Dow's commitment to provide pure water for both industrial and drinking water applications globally as part of Dow's Sustainability Goals for 2015, announced in May 2006.

"Core to our pursuit of market facing businesses, we will leverage our intimate knowledge of the water industry value chain to work with cities, countries and customers everywhere to apply our best thinking and technology in response to the world's growing needs for clean water," said Romeo Kreinberg, Dow's executive vice president, Performance Plastics and Chemicals portfolio. "Dow is dedicated to this business and to the customers and consumers who will benefit from our expansion into this area."

With revenues of approximately $350 million, Dow Water Solutions is a performance business unit that maintains five production facilities globally to manufacture, market and sell reverse osmosis membranes, ion exchange resins, ultrafiltration, and electrodeionization products and other technologies. With over 1,000 employees worldwide, the business is well-positioned to capture much of the industry growth of water and non-water treatment and separations solutions.

"Over the years, we have developed and acquired a selective portfolio of complementary components that are critical to the functionality of water purification systems," said Ian Barbour, general manager, Dow Water Solutions. "Through our technology leadership and expertise in component manufacturing, we are building a leading portfolio of key technologies necessary to address target market needs."

Dow recently expanded its portfolio with three new component technologies, namely Ultrafiltration (UF), Electrodeionization (EDI), and Membrane Bio-Reactors (MBR), through the acquisition of Zhejiang Omex Environmental Engineering Co., Ltd. in July 2006. These technologies will be included in the Dow Water Solutions portfolio, along with existing product offerings in reverse osmosis and ion exchange.

Both UF and MBR are critical to water re-use applications and UF enables the water treatment providers to meet more stringent water quality standards. Dow is already an established leader in reverse osmosis/nanofiltration (RO/NF) membranes and ion exchange resins.

Through development and optimization of these technologies, Dow will offer solutions for specific water purification needs, including seawater desalination, water re-use and small community drinking water systems.

"By offering components as stand-alone or in combination, we can provide our OEMs with additional value that they could not achieve on their own. We have found that these complementary processes enable production of the highest quality water at the lowest attainable cost," said Barbour.