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Nov 26, 2010

Fifty-one years of service to the Southern African market

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Dow Southern Africa has been operating in South Africa for 51 years and currently has a commercial and manufacturing presence in eight locations, employing nearly 200 people.

Dow Southern Africa is part of the global Dow Chemicals Company, which has a presence in 160 countries. Dow is renowned for its diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses.

The company delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers globally and in high-growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture.

Dow in South Africa and Africa, through its major distributor networks and regional offices, offers a wide range of products, including polyol systems, specialty chemicals and agricultural chemicals. The company manufactures products covering a variety of markets that are critical to human progress, including food, transportation, health and medicine, personal and home care, and building and construction, besides others.

Dow Southern Africa MD Sazi Lutseke tells Engineering News: "Dow Southern Africa forms part of the global Dow Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Emerging geographic countries contribute 32% to the company's overall profit. We believe, owing to our long-standing presence in South Africa and Africa, we are well positioned to not only enhance our current business relationships but to also establish and develop new partnerships as the opportunities are presented.

"Further, Dow is aware of the societal needs that go hand in hand with business generation and we have undertaken research through our parent company, the results of which enable Dow to contribute to society ,as well as continuing to grow a successful business base.

"Dow is focusing on building business through four emerging social and economic trends (megatrends) that represent not only societal needs, but also present business opportunities. These four megatrends are infrastructure and transportation, energy, consumerism and health and nutrition. These megatrends are at the forefront of challenges that Africa faces.

"Dow's research and development will now focus on fulfilling some of the societal needs of the four ‘megatrends'. The challenges that are now facing African countries will be dealt with by our port-folios that we have under these megatrends.

Dow has a strong presence in South Africa through a number of businesses. The most technologically driven products or portfolios that we have fall under market-facing businesses. The acquisition of Rohm & Haas, in April 2009, has added to our portfolio, that includes agricultural chemical business Dow AgroSciences, and we have grouped the former Rohm & Haas entities under our Advanced Material Division. The acquisition of Rohm & Haas makes Dow Chemicals the largest specialty company worldwide.

Apart from Dow AgroSciences, some of the businesses that have a presence in South Africa, including those from the Advanced Material Division include:
• Dow Water & Process Solutions;
• Dow Coating Materials;
• Dow Wolff Cellulosics;
• Dow Microbial Control;
• Dow Home & Personal Care;
• Dow Wire & Cable and Dow AgroFresh

"Dow has three manufacturing plants in South Africa, of which two are for Dow AgroSciences, at Canelands and at Sasolburg and one for Dow Coating Materials in New Germany." says Lutseke.

Focused on Providing Innovative Technologies
One of Dow Southern Africa's strength is its ability to access innovative technologies through its global network. While they currently provide solutions to meet customer requirements, the company's ability to access the latest research and development available from Dow inter-
nationally, puts the company in a unique position to offer customers cutting edge and innovative solutions timeously.

The Dow portfolio of products and technologies meets the needs of African countries. In the agricultural sector, their new innovative products help farmers meet the stringent European Union standards, ensuring an environmentally safe product for use on agricultural produce and in farming operations. Dow already offers solutions to water pollution and acid mine drainage (AMD) challenges, issues currently topical locally. The company also believes that the issue of food security is of a pressing concern and offers safe technologies that can assist those involved in this essential activity.

Lutseke says: "We have a professional team at Dow in South Africa. We believe in integrity and respect for people, with a commitment to diversity and inclusion leadership development is evident across all levels of employees. We put safety first above everything else: safety for our
employees, safety in our products and technologies that we offer our customers.

"We are committed to our continued presence in South Africa, and we have the appropriate technology to offer not only private sector customers but also to government, such as improvements to basic infrastructure projects. We have won numerous global awards for safety, and our Canelands manufacturing plant, has achieved a three-year no-spill-over-50 kgs recognition award recently.

"We invest heavily in the skills development of our employees, through training and global experience opportunities. Our main responsibility is to engage with people, who are the right people with the right skills to conduct Dow's business professionally. Therefore, with the right products, technologies and people, we believe that we can contribute to the growth of African countries societally, commercially and in a safe and environment- friendly way," concluded Lutseke.

Health, Safety of Employees the Community and Environment Paramount
In any multinational corporation, the wellbeing of staff, the surrounding and greater communities and the environment is important, and the Dow Chemical Company is no exception.

Dow Chemicals places a strong emphasis on the wellbeing of its employees and community, by participating in and implementing global programmes within South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa and, dditionally, by researching and monitoring social and productive performance issues locally and tailoring them for the said environment.

In line with Dow's health and safety policy, the South African and sub-Saharan African operations also ensure that products and operations meet local government requirements or international standards, whichever is the more stringent in terms of the safety of the environment. Protecting the environment is key to Dow's policy, which believes that there is only one planet with limited resources, and therefore Dow Chemicals is active, with hundreds of global and local partners, to ensure that the company deals with today's complex environmental challenges and enhances the lifestyle and surrounds of its key players, internally and externally.

Dow subscribes locally and internationally to the chemical industry's Responsible Care programme, and as such developed a global health strategy that embraces best practice in caring for employees, dependants and surrounding communities.

Europe, Middle East and Africa health services geographic leader Dr Murray Coombes says: "The backbone of the Dow's chemical health and safety programmes ensures the well being of our staff, through assessing and implementing sustainable and appropriate occupational health procedures.

"And to those outside the company's employer base, this is achieved through a broad and extensive Human Element campaign, such as reaching out to the local communities offering health support to HIV/Aids affected communities and providing education on water, primary healthcare and nutrition, besides many other initiatives. We are constantly involved in research in the fields of epidemiology expertise and assistance, toxicology research, industrial and occupational health and procedures for implementation, as well as progressive health promotion campaigns".

Dow combines the power of science and technology with the human element to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help deal with many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity.

Two Women Who Made a Difference
Sub-Saharan Africa public affairs manager for the Human Element Doritha Erwee is one such person who understands the importance of Dow's role in the communities. Through her holistic approach to community outreach and working to improve the social lives of her fellow South Africans, she has established close-knit relationships with the various communities and projects that she is involved with.

Erwee spearheaded Dow's involvement in one of South Africa's most pressing social/health issue-HIV/Aids-by facilitating a partnership between Dow and a not-for-profit organisation Rehoboth to construct a Dow Home for the children of Rehoboth Village. This Dow Home gives children, many of whom are orphaned or abandoned through HIV/Aids in the family or through contracting the virus themselves, a place to live in a supportive environment with a house mother. The Dow House houses four children and it is assisted by volunteers and with finances from Dow Chemicals.

Other areas that Erwee has focused on include the savannas and grasslands, in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, for the protection of the Ground Hornbills. The company currently works with the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of Ornithology at the University of Cape Town on the hornbill conservation effort. Dow AgroSciences also contributes to the conservation effort through the development of innovative crop protection products, which have less impact on the Ground Hornbills and other wildlife.

Erwee says:"Dow's Human Element campaign, has empowered and encouraged me to further strive in reaching the communities that are close and important to the company. To assist others to develop and grow and reach their potential is one of the most rewarding activities a fellow human being can participate in. Involvement in the conservation of our natural habitat is another such challenge that I find stimulating and satisfying".

In 2008, administrator and health promotion site contact Linda Kruger won the Dow Making the Difference award. The award, presented to Kruger by Dow Southern Africa leader Sazi Lutseke on behalf of Dow Health Services director Catherine Baase, was in recognition of Kruger's contribution to making a difference in the lives of other people. Baase said: "One of the greatest privileges in life is to have an opportunity in our work to take action that really makes a significant difference in the lives of others, and Kruger has accomplished this through her insight, personal caring and motivation".

Kruger has been involved in organising employee get-togethers, individual counselling, health promotion, support groups and charitable fund raising events. She has highlighted to her colleagues the need for balance between work and life, and through her ‘walking the talk' has lifted staff morale over the years.

Lutseke said: "Linda works tirelessly, endlessly, and with great enthusiasm. She is a woman of great commitment and social responsibility. She deserves this award."

These are just two South African examples of how Dow's employees
embrace the global philosophy of the human element and apply it locally with tremendous success and positivity. "It is indicative of how Dow takes their social, people and environmental responsibilities seriously, and puts their money where the issues are," the company states.

Water and Process Solutions
In 2008, Dow Chemicals acquired the advanced and specialty chemical company Rohm & Haas. This acquisition created one of the world's leading specialty chemicals and advanced materials company. Rohm & Haas is now part of Dow's newly formed Dow Advanced Materials Division.

Dow Water & Process Solutions, which falls under this division, offers world-class brands and enabling component technologies designed to advance the science of water purification around the world, including seawater desalination, contaminant removal and water reuse.

Dow Water & Process Solutions provides membranes and ion-exchange resins that are used for the full spectrum water treatment applications. Their products are used in the purification of foods, pharmaceuticals, catalysis, biodiesel, mining, purification of wastes and other applications.

Dow Water & Process Solutions commercial manager for Southern Africa, Peter Cable says: "The acquisition of Rohm & Haas makes Dow Chemicals the global leader in the supply of technologies and solutions suited to water treatment and chemicals processing. This encompasses the food, sugar, water, nutrition, petrochemicals and biodiesel industries. We provide a solution- based offering from procurement, design, troubleshooting, after-sales service and training, whether accredited or customer-based training. In short, we offer the complete turnkey offering tailor made to suit our customer needs".

Dow Water & Process Solutions has been active in the power industry for over 40 years and has established close relationships with South African and sub-Saharan Africa players through their supply of all ion-exchange resins for the water treatment at various stages in power plant. Dow is the leading player in this sector and the only global company to offer the complete suite of applicable technologies and products in the world.

Dow Water & Process Solutions offers high-quality products. These include:

• Adsorbsia GTO - A titanium-based arsenic removal media, in a granular titanium oxide. This unique media is designed for nonregenerative applications. The inherently high adsorptive capacity of Dow's titanium oxide-based technology has been formulated into a mechanically stable granulation suitable for use in a broad range of potable water applications.

• Dow Electrodeionisation - A continuous and chemical-free process of removing ionised and ionisable species from feed water using dc power.

• Dow Ultrafiltration (UF) - A pressure-driven membrane separation process that separates particulate matter from soluble components in the carrier fluid. The unique feature of the DOW UF modules is their "outside/in" operation, allowing the treatment of high-turbidity waters.

• The FilmTec reverse osmosis Membranes: - The FilmTec reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration elements are solutions for industrial, municipal, commercial and consumer water applications. These elements offer high rejection of dissolved solids and organics and operate very efficiently at lower pressures. FilmTec elements also provide excellent structural stability with guaranteed quality and reliability. Extensive installation of FilmTec membranes in seawater desalination plants around the globe bear proof to its quality and excellence.

• Ion-exchange resins and Reverse Osmosis Membranes - The Dowex, Amberlite, Amberjet, Ambersep, Ambersorb, Amberchrom, Duolite and Imac ion-exchange resins and the Filmtec RO membranes are just some of the most familiar product brand names. Further to water treatment applications, ion-exchange resins can be used in many different
specialised applications such as the recovery and purification of pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, chemicals processing, mining and AMD catalysts, power, sweeteners processing, beverages and dairy processing, nuclear applications, biofuels and many other demanding processes.

• Water Softeners - For water softeners, Dowex, Amberlite, and Amberjet ion-exchange resins can be used in home softeners to remove hardness from drinking water, eliminating soap scum, iron discoloration and calcium carbonate scaling.

Dow is assisting industries to turn their wastewater streams into a valuable resource through the specific removal of pollutants and treatment of wastewater to high-purity standards for reuse in industrial processes, boilers, cooling or utilities. Further, municipalities are able to protect their communities from the hazards of contaminated water by improving the quality of the water discharged, which reduces the need to tap freshwater resources.

Dow's treated wastewater is being reused in such applications as indu industrial processes, agricultural and landscape irrigation, toilet flushing, gardening and ground water.

Cable continues: "We have a highly professional and technically qualified team who can advise customers on the applications of products and resulting new technologies. For example, the application of R-I-P (Resin-In-Pulp) for uranium, gold and base metal recovery from pulp, eliminates the need for costly CCD systems.

"Another example, is desalination, a crucial area of activity in South Africa, where drinking water is produced fromsea water and grey waters.

"Another example, is the treatment of acid mine water. Dow has the technology to treat these contaminated waste waters with the resultant spin-off in producing clean drinking water, as well as agricultural fertilisers and other chemicals".

Dow Water & Process Solutions sees great market opportunities within South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, and the recent Rohm & Haas acquisition has added a new dimension to the Dow range of solutions, which the company believes will stand them in good stead in an ever expanding market place.

He adds: "The potential for growth in the minerals and water sectors in this region is significant. We are well placed to service this region with distributors in place in Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Malawi and Ethiopia. At any given time, we have an extensive local, countrywide stock holding of ion-exchange resins and membranes for all applications.

"We are privileged to have Jaco Bester as the business account manager for ion-exchange and catalysts and business account manager: membranes Susan Cole. The company reports that its website www.dowwaterandprocess.com has many unique customer-specific features with a user-friendly answer centre."

Basic and Performance Chemicals
The ‘Dow' name is globally respected for its quality, innovation, precision and attention to customer requirements. With access to global supplies imported, which are stored in bulk locally, Dow offers specialised basic and performance chemicals for a variety of industries such as paint supply and paint stripper industries, foam manufacturing, appliances, dry cleaning and metal cleaning-making it one of Dow's largest specialty divisions.

Dow Basic Chemicals provides vital, low-cost feedstocks, such as chlorine and ethylene oxide, to Dow's performance business, including Dow AgroSciences, Polyurethanes & Epoxies. The company also offers caustic soda merchant sales, methylene chloride, vinyl chloride monomer and other materials, which are essential to a large variety of industries such as agriculture, food, packaging, personal care, building and construction, electronics, water treatment, coatings, adhesives, oil and gas, aircraft, automotive, pharmaceuticals, paper and textiles.

Chemicals, Polyurethanes & Epoxies manager Marena Stewart says: "We are the world's largest chlorinated organics producer, and the only producer operating on three continents, which makes us the largest supplier of these products, as well as chlorinated intermediates. These are used in aerosol products formulation, the chemicals processing industry, coatings and adhesives formulation, dry cleaning, fluorocarbons production (CFC, HCFC, HFC), metal cleaning and degreasing, paint formulation and stripping, pharmaceuticals manufacturing and polyurethane foam production".

Chlorinated solvents are used as an effective solution on many applications. Offering technical advantages and nonflammability at most end-use conditions. There is no economical substitute matching the Dow enhanced properties, the company believes.

Marena adds: "In South Africa, we are one the preferred suppliers of performance products such as polyurethanes, epoxies, amines, oxygenated solvents, performance monomers, polyglycols, surfactants and fluids, which all have their dedicated business groups within Dow".

Polyurethanes, with three business subgroups covering Dow Isocyanates, Dow Polyols and Propylene Oxide/Propylene Glycol, are used in the following sectors: adhesives and sealants; agriculture; appliances; automotive; building and construction; chemical processing;
cleaners; composites; craft and floral; dry-cleaning; electronics and telecommunications; food; imaging and photo-graphy; maintenance repair operations; medical; oil and gas; packaging; paints and coatings; paper; personal care; pharmaceuticals; plastics and rubber; textiles; transportation and water.

Dow is the largest producer of epoxy resins and intermediates globally, as well as being the most feedstock-integrated epoxy producer. This enables Dow to offer cost advantages to customers and ensure reliable product and service delivery within their South African customer base. Their epoxy resins are used in sectors such as civil engineering, composites, electrical castings, electrical laminates, electronics and a variety of industrial coatings. Dow Amines are used in: adhesives; asphalt additives; bleach activation; cement; chelating agents; coatings;
corrosion inhibiting; detergent, cleaners and fabric softeners; drainage aids; epoxy curing; fuel additives; fungicides; gas treatment; hydrocarbon purification; ion-exchange resins; lube oil additives; metalworking fluids; minerals processing; oil well chemicals; paper wet-strength
resins; personal care; petroleum chemicals; pharmaceuticals; photographic chemicals; plastic lubricants; polyamide resins; printing inks; rubber and rubber processing; surfactants; textile and textile additives; urethane chemicals and foams; and wood treatments.

Dow offers the broadest of product lines, to the paint and coatings and cleaning industries, through their oxygenated solvents offerings. These are also applied in cosmetics and personal care products; adhesives, household and institutional products, pharmaceuticals, fuel and lube additives, as well as the traditional agricultural and chemicals industries.

Dow also offers performance monomers and in South Africa the company currently offers butyl acrylate, 2 EHA and vinylacetate monomers, as well as polyglycols, surfactants and fluids.

"What we offer our customers, is a reputable range of quality products and a reliable source of supply. Our team gives a professional service backed by professional technical know-how. We have ridden the economic recession successfully and believe our success is based on customer and market knowledge and product expertise. While there is competition from the Far East, I believe our presence in the South African and the sub-Saharan region makes us a stable option that poses no question about our ability to assess, deliver and execute our obligations to the highest of standards".

Dow Supply Chain Operations

Supply chain leader for Africa Dave Govender highlights the importance that logistics plays in the day-to-day operations of Dow. He says: "The supply chain processes at Dow assures supply and delivery results to Dow's customers and our own operations. We aim to be a low-cost and reliable supplier and to partner with external vendors to ensure the synchronous flow of materials and information through our manufacturing plants, warehouses and terminals to our customers. The process assures that business and operational supply chain requirements are met to achieve the optimum balance of safety and compliance, customer service, total cost to serve, value creation and business growth".

Logistics Strength
Dow Logistics offers global expertise and connectivity, with the ability to provide customised solutions for superior customer experience. A global supply chain contributes value to Dow by living the culture of safety, service, simplicity and speed; working together as a global, integrated and diverse team; ensuring the right skills, knowledge and disciplines are in place to consistently deliver results; relentlessly pursuing a lower cost to serve and keeping its commitments to customers.

There are low cost to serve value-added benefits to the customer in terms of product offerings and logistics solutions. The company has a large number of local bulk tanks for key products, which are readily available as demand requires.

Dow has an unwavering commitment to environment, health and safety standards assuring customers of superior compliance standards-both Dow and statutory compliances. Their logistics service providers have significant expertise and experience in the chemicals industry.

The company is International Standards Organisation and Safety and Quality Assessment Systems audited and certified, which is a minimum requirement for Dow in South Africa.

Govender adds: "Partnerships with key service providers and customers
ensures continuity of supply. Our local presence and representation across the African continent with South Africa as the current base ensures speed and agility in the region. We are involved in the moving, handling and storing of chemicals and products in a safe and secure manner that complies with regulatory requirements and at the lowest cost.

"Challenges are the norm in logistics and we work closely with global and local partners to ensure we stay connected and can respond to changing dynamics across South Africa. We also reinforce our ethic of ‘safety first' by continuous and ongoing
reinforcement of safe behaviours and a culture of compliance, both with customers and service providers. We have adopted a zero tolerance attitude to safety nonconformance in South Africa.

"Dow Logistics use the latest management systems and processes to reduce costs, eliminate rework and improve productivity, and is a Six Sigma recognised operation. We conform to International Trade Operations and Compliance regulations. Further, we use the Dow Supply Chain Academy, which is a comprehensive, Internet-based learning management system, containing about 400 self-study courses, webcasts, and virtual access to textbook references and publications, all on integrated supply chain topics, as well as other educational options.

"Dow provides a professional customer experience by delivering differentiated supply chain operational services, which meet the requirements of the paying customer as defined by the client business. Effective supply chain solutions make business sense and adds value to both Dow and the customer. All of this is underpinned by ensuring an absolute commitment to upholding the environment, health and safety standards and full compliance wherever we operate," concludes Govender.

Dow AgroSciences South Africa
Dow AgroSciences is a top-tier agricultural company providing both chemicals and biotechnology solutions to meet agriculture and speciality market needs. Developing, manufacturing, formulating, marketing and trading in agricultural and other chemicals and related products.

Dow AgroSciences accounts for about 7% of global sales, and is responsible for the development and manufacture of a large range of insecticides, such as Dursban, herbicides, such as Mamba DMA/Max and fungicides, such as Dithane. There are two manufacturing
sites in South Africa, one based at Canelands, in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, and the BTDA plant, in Sasolburg.

Dow AgroSciences South Africa's head office is located in Pretoria, with a sales office in Paarl, in the Cape, and a warehouse facility at Chloorkop, in Johannesburg.

Dow AgroSciences commercial manager for the Southern Africa region Bill Cullen, who also manages marketing, sales, technical support, logistics, distribution and people resources, says: "The Canelands site in Durban is used for the production, formulation and packaging
of herbicides such as tebuthiuron and glyphosate. The BTDA plant, in Sasolburg, produces a single molecule, which is an intermediate for the production of tebuthiuron.

"Our Pretoria office functions also as a sales office for the northern region of the country and is the research and development centre for Dow AgroSciences, servicing South Africa, as well as all other Southern and East African countries. The Paarl office is also the sales office
for the southern part of the country. Essentially the warehouse facility, Chloorkop, stores products that are ready for export to other countries, as well as for local distribution.

"We endeavour to build a sustainable business and create growth opportunities and maintain a top-three Ag Chem Company position in South Africa, as I believe it is important for Dow Agro-Sciences to exert a strong influence on the local market.

"It has been a positive factor that the changing South African agrochemicals environment has seen reduced import control and permits, an increase in generic products, price competition,
open distribution and a less "controlled" marketing environment. Against this background, and the status/position of certain activities related to the attractiveness of products versus markets environment is changing. This provides not only a sense of direction and purpose, but secures commitment at all levels and provides alignment and consistency," says Cullen.

Dow AgroSciences as a manufacturer, formulator and distributor of crop chemicals, which include mainly insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, soil and industrial fumigants and specialty products, has implemented technology, knowledge, know-how and tackles environmental and health issues to the benefit of all stakeholders involved. This includes Dow AgroSciences South Africa committing itself to logistics management and systems, which comprise the control of physical movement of products from factory to distributors and to render an ongoing professional service.

Cullen adds: "At Dow, we offer innovative technologically and advanced products and solutions for important pests, diseases and vegetation issues. We care about our customers, and are therefore committed to ensure that our succession planning is successful, in order for a smooth flow ofexpertise to continue to our customers. While there is competition, we are committed to staying ahead of our competitors, because we believe that what we offer is high-quality products and technology with superb backup and a team that delivers on our promise to customers."

Dow AgroSciences site leader Garth Le Fleur is responsible for the management of the Canelands and Sasolburg sites. He believes that Dow AgroSciences strength and competitive edge is being the biggest producer of tebuthiuron worldwide, which is supported by a strongly technically efficient and professional staff.

Le Fleur says: "Safety is important to Dow AgroSciences, not only on the Canelands and Sasolburg sites, but across all operations. Environment, health and safety must be a value by which we live, and our safety record at both Dow AgroSciences sites is a testament to this.

"The challenges at Dow AgroSciences is the need for more cleaner fuels. Sugar cane is one of our major industries that we supply. Our main products are herbicides, which are used to eliminate weeds in many crops, but particularly our active ingredient tebuthiuron is used on broad-leaf weeds in the sugar cane industry. We expect a growth in this
market for Dow AgroSciences, particularly with the current emphasis on food security and food safety.

"Dow Chemical is the biggest chemicals company in the world, and as a wholly-owned subsidiary is able to offer products that have active ingredients that have been produced by Dow AgroSciences South Africa. Dow AgroSciences South Africa produces quality products safely and responsibly for both the local and the export markets," Le Fleur says.

Dow Automotive
Dow Automotive is the supplier of plastics, adhesives, sealants, vehicle structure enhancements, acoustical management materials, films and fluids for the global automotive industry, serving tier, original-equipment manufacturers and after-market customers.

The organisation was formed as a business group of Dow Chemical Company, in 1988, and in 1999, was named as an industry-focused business unit. Simultaneously, Essex Specialty Products, a wholly owned subsidiary of TDCC, was also integrated into the Dow Automotive organisation.

In January 2001, Dow Automotive acquired German-based Gurit-Essex and its business groups, which like Essex and its other global affiliates, has served the automotive industry since 1960.

Automotive Products sub-Saharan Africa sales and commercial director Rob Judd comments: "Materials science expertise and a broad range of technical capabilities allow Dow Automotive to deliver innovative solutions to its global customers. Our advanced engineering
capabilities combine design, engineering and materials science skills to deliver solutions that best meet performance, weight and cost requirements to satisfy customers' current and future vehicle programme needs. In-house testing and validation, along with program and supply-chain management expertise, including equipment selection and processing method recommendations, allow the company to support customers from design through to product launch."

"Dow prides itself on superior customer experience in sales and service, and keeps at least a six-week stock level at its warehouse, and ensures that it receives a full stock replenishment every three months. We engage with our customers on a more-than-regular basis, and this is one factor, in addition to our price competitiveness, that makes us the first choice of supply in our industry," says Judd.

Dow Automotive's engineering capabilities include design concepts and evaluation, modularisation, computer-aided design/computer-aided engineering, finite element analysis, design optimisation through tool and prototype development, processing methodology selection and mould-filling analysis, occupant safety testing and comprehensive application knowledge. Dow Automotive partners with independent laboratories and customer proving grounds to further evaluate the impact of materials, components and systems in simulated and actual driving conditions

The company provides technology and materials-enabled solutions for automotive interior, exterior, power train, vehicle structural enhancement, acoustic management, and emissions control and after-market applications.

"We also globally source glass bonding systems, structural adhesives, reinforcing composites, sealer systems, acoustical damping systems, acoustical/structural foams and components, injection-moulded cabin-side barriers, emission control devices and a variety of injection-moulded under-the-hood engine covers and noise shields" adds Judd.

Dow Automotive South Africa is based in Port Elizabeth and offers poly urethane products including car seats, head rests, door panels, head linings, instrument panels, steering wheels, load box linings and carpet backing; brake fluids including Dot 3 and Dot 4 for original-equipment manufacturers and aftermarket applications; and adhesives including windscreen bonding, metal to metal bonding and plastic to metal bonding.

Judd concludes: "Dow is extremely customer orientated and supplies the best-quality products, with the best quality service and offers very competitive prices. Our customers expect and know that the attention they receive from us is second to none and they are aware that a deal
negotiated with us is a good deal and makes us the preferred supplier of choice. We remove the worry from the chemicals side of the business and we never have products returned - no rejects from Dow Automotive".

Dow Microbial Control and Personal Care
Dow Microbial Control is the world's number-one supplier of speciality biocides and offers the most complete range of antimicrobial solutions globally, including products and speciality formulated products that can deliver unmatched solutions and expertise and sustainable products for process and materials preservation, as well as hygiene and infection control advantages throughout a vast range of industrial and consumer sectors.

Dow Microbial Control market development manager David Chessman, tells Engineering News: "Being part of a multinational group, such as Dow, enables us to be extremely competitive in our product offerings, our knowledge and compliance to the highest of regulatory standings and know-how through its established portfolio of offerings, including formulations, antimicrobial control expertise, microbiological methodology, formulation science and products delivery, which is very much a reflection of the integrity and technological expertise that Dow brings to the customer's table".

"Dow continually conducts research and development into the microbial control element employing the greatest number of PhD scientists and microbiologists in this regard. We strive to offer products, which are environmentally sustainable. Our research activities are supported by the acquisition of latest technologies available and our customer relationships are crucial in our ability to anticipate their changing requirements" says Chessman.

The industries that Dow Microbial serves in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa include adhesives and sealants, animal biosecurity, building materials and construction, household, industrial and institutional, industrial water treatment, latex, leather, marine antifouling, metal-working fluids, paints and coatings, personal care, plastics, pulp, paper and mineral slurries, textiles and wood preservation.

To service the above industries, the company offers a list of actives which is regarded as being the most comprehensive offer globally. These actives include industry standard molecules and proprietary combinations of molecules giving optimum performance in the
applications defined. Well known trade names include Aqucar, Ucarcide, Rocima, Dowicil, Dowicide and Kathon.

Chessman continues: "Dow operates customer application centres (CAC), and the South African region liaises and works with the CAC in Dubai, which offers formulation support, microbiology testing and regulatory and commercial expertise. Dow Southern Africa transfers its local issue knowledge and experience to the Dubai CAC for central knowledge banking."

"The challenges faced include the continual changes to the management of water and effluent improvement, as well as environmental requirements. However, I believe that Dow has the competitive edge through its reach, expertise and regulatory depth.

"We work with two channel partners, which enables us a large market reach. We conduct regular technical visits throughout the regions we service, supported by regional Dow technical experts. We offer free training to our customers on the dosage and applications of our microbial control products through our Dow Microbial Academy, which is ongoing as and when updates become available. Ongoing training is crucial to the successful application of our microbial control products and it reduces the frequency of human error in the dosage process.

"Our customers have absolute confidence in the level of support offered by Dow Microbial Control and their access to us and our product expertise and know-how," says Chessman.

Dow Home & Personal Care offers a range of technologically advanced solutions, consisting of enablers (dispersants, rheology modifiers, hair styling polymers, opacifiers, floor polish systems); solutions (delivery vehicles, performance enhancers - light management, SPF enhancement (water proofing); and chassis (surfactants, green solvents and chelants). These are used in the hair care, sun care, skin care and oral care, colour cosmetics and fragrance industries.

The Dow Fabric & Surface Care offers surfactants, low and No-VOC solvents, foam control agents, rheology modifiers, sequestrants, formulation services, conditioning agents, actives encapsulation, floor polish systems, thickening agents, delivery systems and emulsifiers specifically targeting the fabric, dish, hard surface and floor care sectors on the home care side, and fabric and laundry, dish, hard surface and floor care on the institutional care side.

The Way Ahead
Dow Chemicals Southern Africa is proud of its presence in South Africa and Africa, its contribution to business solutions across a wide variety of sectors and its contribution to skills development and the upliftment of its people and their communities through their outreach initiatives.

Lutseke comments:" We have techno-logical solutions to offer the various industries that we serve and we have access to the latest innovative research and development from Dow globally. We have our people, who are professional and have not lost their sense of humbleness and humanity towards others. We are concerned for the environment, and strive constantly to ensure that our product offerings are green and environment-friendly.

"Dow Southern Africa is the preferred choice, because we believe we offer the most advanced solutions to meet the requirements of the industries we serve. We believe in Dow products and technologies, our people, their future and we strive to help protect the future of this world that we live in," concludes Lutseke.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
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