Fire shuts down Kuwaiti unit of Dow Chemical

Kuwait's Equate Petrochemicals Co, a joint venture with US Dow Chemical, said on Thursday it has shut down a 550,000 tonnes ethylene glycol unit after it caught fire.

The shutdown will be for approximately six weeks after a fire broke out there Tuesday following a leak. The fire did not cause injuries, the company said, adding that production at its other units was not affected.

Equate is a multi-billion-dollar joint venture between Dow Chemical and Kuwait's state-owned Petrochemical Industries Co (PIC), each holding 42.5 per cent stake.

Two private firms Boubyan Petrochemical Co and Al-Qurain Petrochemicals hold nine percent and six percent respectively.

Equate, which began operations in 1997, has a total production capacity of 5.2 million metric tonnes per year mainly of polyethylene, ethylene glycol and styrene, in addition to other derivative products.