Dow Announces formation of water solutions business (now what excuse will it find for not cleaning up Bhopal's water?)

As reported over the last few months on Bhopal.Net, Dow has spotted an opportunity in the worldwide lack of clean drinking water both to boost its profits and its sagging image, which its recent ludicrous ad campaign has done little to improve. As we reported on June 30, 2006, Dow bought a Chinese company which gave it the necessary skills to launch its new water venture. Would they use the technology to clean up Bhopal, we asked? Well, they have since made a great fanfare at the UN about their commitment to clean water for the people of the planet, but ask them about their responsibilities in Bhopal and answer comes there none. The truth is of course that Dow is only interested in the huge profits to be made from selling water to the thirsty. Its humanitarian statements are unfortunately just drivel.
The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) has announced the formation of Dow Water Solutions, a business unit comprised of world-class brands and enabling component technologies designed to advance the science of desalination, water purification, contaminant removal and water recycling.
The new business becomes the Company’s fourth market facing business. Applying similar business models as Dow Building Solutions, Dow Automotive and Dow AgroSciences, the unit will focus on proactively meeting the needsof the Company’s water industry customers by leveraging the full breadthand depth of capabilities and technologies found within its value centers and across the Company.
“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,” explained Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive officer, The Dow Chemical Company.”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 thatare 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 the Company’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 andtechnology 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 thisarea.”
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 FILMTEC(TM) reverse osmosismembranes, DOWEX(TM) 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), andMembrane 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 reverseosmosis/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 canprovide our OEMs with additional value that they could not achieve on their own. We have found that these complementary processes enable production ofthe highest quality water at the lowest attainable cost,” said Barbour.
As part of its commitment to water purification, Dow Water Solutions has also announced the successful start-up of the expansion of the FILMTEC(TM) reverse osmosis membrane manufacturing facility at Edina, Minnesota. Dow also recently formed a partnership with Blue Planet Run Foundation to raise awareness and funds for water purification projects.
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