Mitsui Chemicals and Dow Announce
joint Development Program for ESI in japan

October 5, 2000

For Editorial Information:
Doug Brinklow
The Dow Chemical Company
Keiji Suda
Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.
3-2-5 Kasumigaseki,
Ciyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

MIDLAND, Mich. and TOKYO, Japan -The Dow Chemical Company and Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., today announced a joint development program under which Mitsui will develop markets in Japan for ethylene styrene interpolymers (ESI) from Dow - a new and novel family of thermoplastic polymers made possible by INSITE* Technology.

Based on the copolymerization of ethylene and styrene and, potentially, other monomers, ESI exhibits unique properties such as stress relaxation and high mineral filler loading capability that will contribute to new applications.

This joint development program will enable Mitsui to develop a new and highly valued growth business for ESI in Japan.

"Dow selected Mitsui as a development partner for ESI because of the two companies' strong working relationship, Mitsui's excellent reputation as a plastics supplier in Japan, and its ability to understand and meet the needs of Japanese customers," says Romeo Kreinberg, Business Group President at Dow. "Our commitment to this program demonstrates both companies' optimism regarding ESI's long-term growth potential."

According to Yoshiyuki Sakaki, Senior Managing Director at Mitsui, "We are very pleased that Dow has expressed confidence in our ability to market this new family of thermoplastic polymers in Japan. We believe our joint development with Dow will allow both parties to diversify our polymers business as well as to take advantage of our ability to deliver differentiated plastic materials. We will make every effort to achieve our goal. In that sense, we have established "ES Business Development Unit" within our Polymers Group organization as a dedicated team of Mitsui's ESI development effective October 1, 2000"

According to Kreinberg, the joint development program will help accelerate both market demand and product development through both Mitsui and Dow's excellent technical and commercial capabilities.

Dow recently began operating a 50-million-pound (22,700-metric-ton) grassroots ESI product development plant in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. The company continues to work with global customers on a variety of applications for ESI.

Ongoing and Collaborative Relationship

Both Dow and Mitsui are global leaders in the development and commercialization of olefin polymerization catalysts and metallocene-catalyzed ethylene copolymers. The companies have had an ongoing and complementary relationship for several years involving a variety of technologies.

In 1999, Dow and Mitsui have agreed to license certain patents to each other pertaining to metallocene-catalyzed ethylene copolymers. Covering ethylene/alpha-olefin copolymers of all densities, as well as ethylene/alpha-olefin/polyene copolymers, this arrangement allows the two companies greater latitude in the manufacture and sale of ethylene copolymers using their respective metallocene catalysts.

Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., is a major chemical company with a diversified chemical portfolio that includes base chemicals, industrial chemicals, polymers, functional materials, performance materials, and fine chemicals. Its 1999 consolidated sales were 884.2 billion yen, and consolidated operating income was 55.7 billion yen.

Dow is a leading science and technology company that provides innovative chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services to many essential consumer markets. With annual sales of $19 billion, Dow serves customers in 162 countries and a wide range of markets that are vital to human progress, including food, transportation, health and medicine, personal and home care, and building and construction, among others. Committed to the principles of sustainable development, Dow and its 39,000 employees seek to balance economic, environmental and social responsibilities.