The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) today announced that the Company’s St. Charles Olefins 2 Plant near Hahnville, La. began producing on-spec ethylene on December 25, 2012, meeting previously announced targets to re-start the plant by year-end 2012. “The start-up of our St. Charles ethylene plant represents the first major milestone within our U.S. Gulf Coast investment strategy,” said Brian Ames, president, Dow Olefins, Aromatics and Alternatives. “This action further reduces the company’s purchased ethylene, lowering costs and strengthening the competitiveness of our high-margin, high-growth derivatives businesses.” This milestone is part of Dow’s comprehensive investment plan to further connect its U.S. operations with cost-advantaged feedstocks from increasing supplies of U.S. shale gas and deliver long-term competitive advantage for Dow’s downstream businesses. Plans to increase ethylene and propylene supply and ethane cracking capabilities at existing U.S. Gulf Coast facilities strengthen the competitiveness of Dow’s Performance Plastics, Performance Products and Advanced Materials businesses and enable profitable growth in the Americas. The St. Charles plant, which was idled in January 2009, is expected to deliver a $150 million increase in EBITDA in 2013. About Dow Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.