Dow to Build Global Water Technology Development Center in Spain

July 11, 2008
Dow is investing $15 million in the center in Tarragona, Spain

Dow Water Solutions, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co. and its subsidiaries, recently announced that it will build a Water Technology Development Center at the Dow facilities in Tarragona, Spain. The center will include capabilities for product application development and component testing, and is designed to accelerate the commercialization of Dow’s membrane and ultrafiltration technologies, which enable the production of clean drinking water from various water sources, including seawater.

“The provision of clean water is one of the most pressing challenges facing the global community in the 21st century,” said Ian Barbour, general manager, Dow Water Solutions. “This new center represents an important step forward in our strategy to provide innovative, technology-based solutions to help address this issue.” The new center reflects Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals, which pledge the company’s commitment to help solve world challenges such as sustainable water supplies.

Dow is investing $15 million in the center, which is expected to open at the end of 2009 and employ 25 expert researchers. The company has been granted subsidies from Spain’s Ministry of Industry for the research programs in this area, in line with the Spanish government’s commitment to research and development, specifically in the field of sustainable water supplies. This project is part of a continuous investment program. Two years ago, the Company opened the global textile fibers center at the Tarragona site. Dow has also a European center for plastics development at the site.

The center’s proximity to the Mediterranean will provide access to seawater, with the additional options of accessing brackish water, industrial wastewater, and treated river water. By replicating real-world operating conditions in large-scale pilot plants, Dow Water Solutions will enhance its understanding of how to achieve the best performance and lowest operational costs for treating water. The center will feature a state-of-the-art demonstration area.

“The CDTI (Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology) considers the news about the construction of an R&D centre for water desalination technology and wastewater recycling in Tarragona by Dow Chemical Ibérica as very positive. This new investment will help Spain to become one of the leading countries for water desalination technology,” said Maurici Lucena, general of the CDTI. The CDTI is a Spanish public organization, under the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade.

Antón Valero, chairman and general manager of Dow Chemical Ibérica, said: “This project recognizes the leadership of the R&D organization in Spain and offers new investment opportunities to the country. Tarragona will serve as a research center for all of Dow’s markets, placing Spain at the forefront to tackle water management challenges in Europe.”

Dow has selected Acciona Agua as its partner for the design and construction of the pilot plant, based on the company’s extensive experience and expertise in this field.

Source: Dow Chemical Company

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