Dow in Louisiana

Dow in Louisiana

What do disposable diapers, electronic components, football helmets and automotive parts have in common? They are all made from the basic and specialty chemicals produced by the Louisiana employees of Dow.

Dow came to Louisiana in 1956, drawn by the state’s abundant natural resources, excellent transportation network, deep water port, easy access to the Mississippi River, dedicated workforce, and available land. With the purchase of land in Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes, Dow established Louisiana Operations - its first site in the state.

Today, Dow Louisiana is the largest petrochemical company in the state, providing jobs for more than 4,000 Dow and contract employees, and pumping over $1 billion into the state’s economy each year.

At four sites in Louisiana – Plaquemine, Grand Bayou, Hahnville, and Greensburg, – Dow manufactures more than 100 basic and specialty chemicals that are shipped worldwide. These products serve as building blocks for hundreds of everyday products from plastics to soaps, detergents, food additives, cosmetics, shampoos, and pharmaceuticals.

In each of our locations, Dow is a part of the surrounding community, providing jobs, economic stability, and striving to maintain and enhance the quality of life. Committed to the principles of sustainable development, Dow and its employees in Louisiana seek to balance economic, environmental, and social responsibility as we invest in our communities and encourage them to invest in themselves.

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Louisiana Operations

Louisiana Operations is one of the largest petrochemical facilities in Louisiana. The integrated manufacturing facility near Plaquemine and brine operations in Grand Bayou comprise the largest employer in Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes and plays an active role in the surrounding communities.

Home to most of Dow’s global businesses, Louisiana operations has 15 production units that produce over 200 products that are used to produce cosmetics, detergents, solvents, pharmaceuticals, adhesives, plastics for a variety of packaging, automotive parts, electronics components, and more.

With an industrial park design, Louisiana Operations has co-located companies within the site’s borders. It offers convenient transportation options, including marine, rail, truck, and pipeline. In addition, Louisiana Operations has tremendous power and steam capacity along with the ability to treat its own waste.

St. Charles Operations

St. Charles Operations is owned by Union Carbide Corporation, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and began operations in 1966. The complex consists of a 2,000-acre petrochemical manufacturing complex in Hahnville, just upriver from New Orleans.

The site has been an OSHA Star Site for over 20 years with an exemplary safety record and an employee injury rate that is one of the lowest in the country.

With an industrial park design, SCO has companies co-located on site. It offers numerous transportation options and a new state-of-the-art truck staging area. Electricity and steam are generated on site, and the site has three water treatment plants.

Products made at SCO end up in thousands of household, business and consumer products that improve everyday life, including plastics, insecticides, films and fabrics, antifreeze, jet fuel, brake fluid, paints and adhesives, textiles, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, personal care products, toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, cleaning agents, detergents, fabric softeners, animal feed supplements and more.

Grand Bayou Operations

Grand Bayou is a part of Louisiana Operations, located approximately 30 miles from the integrated manufacturing site in Plaquemine. Grand Bayou sits on over 880 acres (about the area of Central Park in New York City) of property in Assumption Parish, and the site is home to some of the most beautiful wildlife in the area.

Site operations began in 1957. At Grand Bayou, Dow mines underground salt with water to produce a saturated brine solution used in the manufacture of chlorine. In addition, hydrocarbon feed stocks are stored in the underground caverns onsite. These feed stocks are utilized by hydrocarbon plants at both Louisiana and St. Charles Operations.

Amerchol Greensburg

Amerchol, a subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation, operates a 50-acre site in St. Helena Parish, 45 miles northeast of Baton Rouge. The site began as a privately held chemical company and was acquired by Union Carbide Corporation in 1985.

The site is home to two production units, manufacturing cationic polymers for the home and personal care markets. Amerchol products can be found in skin and hair-care products, detergents, makeup, and toiletries.

Amerchol is one of the largest employers in St. Helena Parish. Through educational outreach to the local public schools and technical college, as well as employee and company contributions to United Way, the Greensburg site is an active participant and supporter of the local community.

Contributing to Community Success

As part of its global commitment to sustainability, Dow looks to invest in programs and organizations that will have a long-term impact and serve as a starting point for widespread community involvement and growth. The list of organizations, projects, programs, events, and activities that Dow sponsors or is involved with in Louisiana is extensive, but most can be categorized into three areas of focus: economy & workforce development, science, mathematics, engineering and technology related education, and protection of the environment.

Dow’s innovative Community Success process allows strategic Dow communities to provide qualitative and quantitative inputs on their quality-of-life issues and what Dow’s appropriate role is – whether it’s directly addressing community needs or using its leadership position to influence other organizations. Through this process, Dow is able to better align the community’s needs with Dow’s intellectual and business knowledge-how to maximize the long-term benefit to the community.


Case for Change

Louisiana Operations implemented a new Community Advisory Panel (CAP) in the Summer of 2011. LAO operated under its original CAP charter since 1989 and based on extremely positive (>75%) familiarity and favorability ratings, we were given "permission" from our community to lead, stimulate, innovate, and serve as a catalyst for change. Dow uses CAP meetings to meet with high level leaders in the community that have influence and can offer input to how Dow can proactively lead instead of being a "fast follower" and to exceed community expectations instead of just satisfying them. Focus is given to EH&S, Dow business strategy and LAO business/community affairs. The membership of this CAP is key business, community and political leaders from Iberville and West Baton Rouge Parishes.


  • Establish a "Dow-knowledgeable" panel of leaders from the surrounding community, external to LAO
  • Open and foster two-way communication with the panel
  • Identify where can Dow have the greatest impact and exercise the most focused leadership and responsibility


Membership is by invitation only and is restricted to the following individuals. A member of the executive staff of any CAP member may attend in place of an unavailable CAP member.

Invitation to membership is extended by letter from the LAO Site Leader to individuals holding the office, title, or role listed below. The letter of invitation provides an overview of the content of this guiding document and also includes a 1-year meeting schedule in order to obtain commitments from the onset.

  • Iberville Parish President — Chris Daigle
  • West Baton Rouge Parish President — Jason Manola 
  • Iberville Parish Council Chair — Matt Jewell
  • West Baton Rouge Parish Council Chair — Carey Denstel
  • Iberville Parish School Superintendent — Dr. Louis Voiron
  • West Baton Rouge Parish School Superintendent — Chandler Smith
  • Iberville Parish School Board President — Yolanda Butler Laws 
  • West Baton Rouge Parish School Board President — Roland “Blue” Leblanc
  • Iberville Parish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director — Pam Boesch
  • West Baton Rouge Parish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director — Anna Johnson
  • Iberville Office of Emergency Preparedness Director — Clint Moore
  • West Baton Rouge Office of Emergency Preparedness Director — Deano Moran
  • Dow LAO Site Leader — Wes Heinlein
  • Dow LAO Responsible Care Leader (RCL) — Mary Meyer
  • Dow LAO Public Affairs Manager — Glynna Mayers
  • Dow LAO Site Integration Director – Eleanor Joffrion

Meeting Frequency

The LAO CAP meets on a quarterly basis at the Louisiana Operations Site. Meetings are held within the 2-week period after Dow reports quarterly earnings. This allows site leadership to present an accurate snapshot of the Company and LAO's performance, based on metrics tracked by the company on a quarterly basis.

Tentative meeting dates for 2024 are:

  • Tuesday, March 5, 2024
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024
  • Tuesday, August 13, 2024
  • Tuesday, November 12, 2024

Meeting Summary

CAP Summary - 05/21/2024

CAP Summary - 03/04/2024

CAP Summary -12/05/2023

CAP Summary - 05/23/2023

CAP Summary - 02/28/2023

CAP Summary - 11/02/2022

CAP Summary - 05/25/2022

CAP Summary - 03/16/2022


Protecting the Community

Safety is always Dow's top priority. We are deeply committed to the security and safety of our sites, products, our employees and our communities.

We also know that our communities give us our license to operate – and we will not compromise on our commitment to working with industry and governments wherever we operate to help address Community Safety & Security.

Committed to Sustainability

Dow is committed to using resources more efficiently, providing value to our customers and stakeholders, delivering solutions for customer needs and enhancing the quality of life of current and future generations.

The Dow Chemical Company has set ambitious 2025 Sustainability Goals. We will lead in developing a societal blueprint that integrates public policy solutions, science and technology, and value chain innovation to facilitate the transition to a sustainable planet and society.


What do we mean when we say "flares"?

Flares are safety devices that are used at many petrochemical facilities to effectively burn industrial gases that cannot be returned to the process. Burning converts the gases into two common substances: carbon dioxide and water vapor.

The flare is an essential safety device that is designed:

  • To protect our community and employees from exposure to pollutants
  • To protect equipment from catastrophic failure (pressure relief)
  • With safety front of mind: Flares are big enough to handle the largest release

What do you see when you notice a flare? At Dow, we aim to minimize the impact to the community when we operate our safety devices. If you are near the plant during flaring activity, you may notice:

  • Light – Besides the flame itself, you will notice an orange glow surrounding the flame as well.
  • Smoke – Only when necessary, smoke may be visible from the flare. This occurs at instances when there is a loss of steam to the tip of the flare due to a power interruption.
  • Noise – The gases are mixed with steam and air at high volumes and velocities which cause an audible rumbling sound.

What's going on when you see a burning flare?

The flares are a permitted air pollution control device used as an outlet to burn excess gas during normal operations, maintenance activities, and partial or complete production unit startup and shutdown. In these scenarios, equipment and piping can become over-pressured. Then, the excess gas is released through pressure relief valves and sent to the flare stack through piping. The burning of the flare ensures the continued safe operations of the plant under all conditions.

Glycol 2 incident

For information on the July 14, 2023 incident at the Glycol 2 facility, please visit the following link, July 2023 LAO incident.

Dow Product Made in Louisiana

Plastics produced at St. Charles Operations and Louisiana Operations are sent to other manufacturers who make them into computer components such as keyboards and monitors, football helmets, adhesives, strengtheners for tires, athletic shoes, pipes, wire and cable. . . and the list goes on and on.

UCARE Polymers™ made at our Amerchol facility in Greensburg, Louisiana, are used as specialty ingredients that go into body washes, gels, anti-bacterial soaps, creams and lotions that reduce irritation, protect the skin’s natural barrier, prevent loss of moisture and restore damaged skin to good health.

At St. Charles Operations, glycol ethers are used in leather and textile dyes, while some of the site’s industrial chemicals are found in paints and coatings. Polyolefins and elastomers made in St. Charles Parish help keep your leftovers fresh when they are used in resins and films for food wraps.

At Louisiana Operations, caustic soda is a key ingredient in products from soaps and bleach to aluminum foil. The site’s methyl cellulose is used in cosmetics, shampoos and detergents. Diapers get a boost from polyethylene made in Plaquemine.

Polyethylene made at Louisiana Operations and at St. Charles Operations can be found in countless products around the house, including milk carton coatings, trash bags, grocery sacks, margarine tubs and film canisters, as well as weather stripping for your home. Dow methyl cellulose is used as a thickening agent in milkshakes and salad dressings.

When you’re on the move

Dow products made in Louisiana enable manufacturers to make cars lighter, stronger, more stylish, and more energy-efficient. Our chemicals are used to make brake fluid, antifreeze, and other fuel additives, as well as specialized plastics and resins used as components in automobiles, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.

Chlorinated polyethylene produced at Louisiana Operations in Plaquemine goes into automotive hoses, tubes and wires – critical components that ensure automobile performance.

The next time you pass a new traffic signal or look at a digital display alarm clock, know that peroxymeric chemicals produced at St. Charles Operations are used in making LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), those ‘little dots’ that replaced the old bulbs.

Learn more about the innovative products of The Dow Chemical Company

Media Contacts

Stacey Gautreau
Public Affairs Director
Dow U.S. Gulf Coast

Glynna Mayers
Public Affairs Manager
Dow Louisiana Operations

Taryn Rogers
Public Affairs Manager
Dow St. Charles Operations