Fire destroys straw bales at former Dow BioProducts property in Elie, Manitoba

Alberta, Canada - April 29, 2010

An accidental fire has destroyed several hundred straw bales at the former Dow BioProducts property located in Elie, Manitoba yesterday, as Dow employees worked to grind straw from bales into loose form for future composting.

There were no injuries reported and Dow personnel who were on site immediately responded to contain the fire. However, due to the winds and dry conditions, the fire quickly spread with embers carrying in the wind to ignite more bales. The incident is under investigation but those at the scene suggest the fire may have started with a horizontal grinder machine used in the bale grinding process.

Firefighters from Dow's Alberta Emergency Response Team will be on site in Elie, Thursday to support local firefighting crews in keeping the fire contained.

"Dow Canada is thankful for the emergency services assistance from the Rural Municipality of Cartier Fire Department, the Office of the Fire Commissioner, the Rural Municipality of Cartier, and other local contractors who are working to contain the fire" said, Shawna Bruce, Public Affairs Manager. "The safety of area residents and emergency response personnel and the safeguarding of neighbouring properties remain our main priorities."

The Dow facility, which ceased operations in December 2005, produced high-performance engineered panels made from wheat straw and polyurethane resin. Dow sold the facility to a local purchaser in December 2009, but negotiated an agreement to continue its straw management program. Dow remains committed to removing its inventory of straw bales which provided the feedstock for manufacturing the panels, and is working towards completing the program by the end of 2010.

This Dow initiated program will see approximately 50 per cent of the bales used in composting to enrich the soil of neighbouring farms which Dow has leased for this purpose. To date more than 10,000 bales have been donated to local farmers.

About Dow Canada

Dow Chemical Canada ULC, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, employs approximately 1,000 people in Canada. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Dow Canada and its affiliates have manufacturing locations in: Sarnia and Toronto, Ontario; Fort Saskatchewan and Prentiss, Alberta; and Varennes, Quebec. For more information about Dow Canada, please visit our web site at

About Dow

Dow combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" 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 2009, Dow had annual sales of $45 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 214 sites in 37 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

For Editorial Information:

Shawna Bruce
Dow Chemical Canada ULC
+1 780 998 8445