Dow Corning moves forward with Michigan CHP project

By Lisa Gibson | March 14, 2011

Pending permit approvals, a biomass combined-heat-and-power (CHP) facility proposed for a Dow Corning Corp. manufacturing site in Midland, Mich., should be under construction in the second quarter of this year.

The Midland Power Station is expected to produce about 40 megawatts of power, along with steam for manufacturing processes at the adjacent Dow Corning facility. If all permits are issued as expected, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held this summer, according to Jarrod Erpelding, spokesman for Dow Corning Corp.

The gasification plant will run on chipped forest residues and wood processing waste, but will also be capable of using municipal solid waste, crop residues and energy crops, Erpelding said. The company has some fuel agreements in place for the woody feedstock, he added.

This would be the first biomass endeavor for Dow Corning and if the plant proves successful, the company might consider expanding its biomass portfolio. Currently, the plant’s electricity and steam requirements are supplied by a coal-powered source, Erpelding said, adding that steam is a major component of the manufacturing facility’s operations.

Dow Corning’s silicone-based products are used in the construction, solar, life sciences and personal products industries. Cirque Energy LLC would build, own and operate the Midland CHP plant for the company and is handling the environmental permitting.