Celanese Corporation (NYSE: CE), a global technology and specialty materials company, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Celanese Far East Limited, has signed letters of intent to construct and operate industrial ethanol production facilities in Nanjing, China, at the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park and in Zhuhai, China, at the Gaolan Port Economic Zone.
Pending project approvals, Celanese could begin industrial ethanol production within the next 30 months with an initial nameplate capacity of 400,000 tons per year per plant with an initial investment of approximately US$300 million per plant. The company is pursuing approval at two locations to ensure its ability to effectively grow with future demand.
The projects will use Celanese’s newly developed advanced technology to produce industrial ethanol. This innovative, new process combines Celanese’s proprietary and industry-leading acetyl platform with highly advanced manufacturing technology to produce ethanol from hydrocarbon-sourced feedstocks. To meet future demand, Celanese’s technology also allows capacity at each facility to be more than doubled at significantly less than the original investment.
Industrial ethanol is used in chemical and industrial applications for the manufacture of paints, coatings, inks and pharmaceuticals. Current demand for industrial ethanol in China is approximately 3 million tons annually and is expected to grow between 8% and 10% per year.
In September 2007, Celanese’s Nanjing Integrated Chemical Complex officially opened with world-class scale, technology and production facilities. The primary products at the site include acetic acid, vinyl acetate, acetic anhydride, vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer emulsion, Celstran® long fiber reinforced thermoplastics and GUR® ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE). The Celanese Nanjing Integrated Chemical Complex is the company’s largest integrated chemical plant, reflecting the company’s long-term commitment to the Asia region.