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Dow to suspend dock operations at two factory sites in Louisiana

May 16/2011

(Bloomberg) -- Dow Chemical Co., the largest U.S. chemical maker, said it will suspend dock operations at two factory sites in Louisiana tomorrow as a precaution against potential flooding from the swollen Mississippi River.

While the company doesnt expect floods at its Plaquemine and St. Charles sites, it is suspending dock work based on water-level projections, Gregory Baldwin, a Dow spokesman, said today in an e-mailed statement. Its too early to say how long the suspensions will be or whether they will affect production and sales, he said in response to questions from Bloomberg News.

The Mississippi and Ohio rivers, swollen by heavy rain and melted snow, have been inundating cities and towns, flooding cropland and disrupting shipping.

Dow has three ethylene plants, known as crackers, along the Mississippi River in Louisiana. South of Baton Rouge are Plaquemine 2, which can produce 499 KT of ethylene a year, and Plaquemine 3 which can produce 758 KT, according to Bloomberg data. West of New Orleans at the St. Charles site in Hahnville is Taft 1, which can make 610 KT of ethylene a year.

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