Saturday, 7 May 2011

Belgian chemical sites open up for IYC

During the weekend of May 21/22 a number of chemistry related facilities - research laboratories and manufacturing sites - in Belgium will be welcoming the public as part of the International Year of Chemistry 2011. And in this spirit RSC Members and Friends will be visiting the major Dow plant at Terneuzen in the Netherlands on Saturday May 21.

The sites in Belgium which are open during this weekend are coordinated by Essenscia - the Belgian chemical industry organisation. Details of the facilities that are open and arrangements to visit can be found on their website.
Information on the sites is split liguistically on the website with arrangements for chemical facilties in Wallonia in French and those open in Flanders in Flemish.

Dow, Terneuzen
Thanks to RSC Member and Dow employee Carolyn Ribes, the section has a particular opportunity to visit the Dow manufacturing site at Terneuzen, in the Netherlands (below) during their Open Day on Saturday May 21. Terneuzen is situated on the south bank of the Schelt, about 50 km north of Ghent and around 75 minutes drive from Brussels.

The site is constructed around three crackers which convert crude oil or LNG into basic chemical building blocks such as ethylene, propylene and butadiene which are then turned into plastics and basic chemicals. These go on to be transformed elsewhere into final products suich as packaging, electronics, toys, building materials, medicine or cosmetics.The site is particularly known for its sustainable operation, striving to improve energy efficiency, combat climate change and protect health and the environment.

The visit will include a gallery walk and exhibition about developments at Dow including their most innovative products and processes in the Communication Centre. There are many impressive developments moving from R&D labs into commercial use. This will be followed by a coach tour around the actual manufacturing site. Carolyn has arranged for the 11:30 bus tour to be in English. In total the visit should last two hours.

At the end of the visit RSC Belgium participants will head for lunch at the Westbeer restaurant on the waterfront at Terneuzen.

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