The first of a new network of multimillion dollar pipelines went into operation on Sunday in the German state of Lower Saxony. The 390-kilometer long pipeline will transport ethylene from the U.S.-owned chemical concern Dow, located on the Elbe, to its German subsidiary Chemie-Dreieck. Three other major pipelines are in the planning stages and should go in to operation over the next few years. Ethylene is made from natural gas and oil and serves as the basis for other chemicals which are used to make bottles and pipes. Though not poisonous, the chemical is very flammable, making its transportation through pipelines safer than above ground via truck or train. Lower Saxony is looking to reinforce its reputation as the country's "chemical coast" through the pipeline network and hopes to establish the region as a center for chemical production and protect 5,000 jobs related to the chemical industry.