News: Dow Chemical Company has awarded a contract to Netherlands-based energy infrastructure company Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I) for its proposed ethylene and propylene expansion projects on the US Gulf Coast. Under the terms of the contract, CB&I will provide pipe fabrication services during the construction of Dow Chemical's new ethylene and propylene manufacturing plants in Texas. It will also provide pipe fabrication services for four other Dow Chemical polyethylene units in Texas and Louisiana. Financial and project start-up or completion details were not disclosed by either company.
BMI View: The overall outlook for 2014 is positive. The European market has bottomed out and China is gaining traction while the US industrial cycle is improving. US manufacturing is strengthening on higher light vehicle sales and the housing market is improving, although at a slower pace. Overall US chemical inventories are well balanced and the global economic improvement will help the industry's export situation.