Olin opens bleach plant in Freeport

Dow Chemical employee Raza Rizvi watches construction of Dow Chemical’s massive new ethane cracker in Freeport to churn out more ethylene, which is the primary building block of most plastics.

Olin Corp. said Thursday it has opened its new industrial bleach production plant south of Houston in Freeport.

The project is Missouri-based Olin’s first Texas expansion since merging two years ago with Dow Chemical’s chlorine business in a deal worth more than $5 billion. Bleach is made from chlorine and sold for a wide variety of household and industrial uses, including water treatment systems.

Freeport is home to Dow’s largest industrial campus, and now Olin is expanding its Houston-area footprint.

The new plant increases Olin’s total bleach production in the United States by 10 percent, with weekly shipments requiring more than 100 trucks and rail cars combined, according to Olin CEO John Fischer. Olin is not releasing the project costs.

“This is a significant investment for Olin that now gives us a comprehensive production portfolio at our Freeport site, which is the company’s largest,” Fischer said. “The new plant demonstrates not only our continued commitment to economic development in this area, but also our continued commitment to efficiently and effectively serve our current customers, as well as gain new customers.”

The new plant included 12 new jobs. In Freeport, Olin adds bleach to its product line that also includes chlorine, vinyls, epoxy resins, caustic soda and more.