Pertamina to collaborate with Celanese to develop fuel ethanol projects using Celanese TCX process in Indonesia; use of lower-rank coal
|Celanese TCX production process. Click to enlarge.|
Celanese Corporation has entered into a Joint Statement of Cooperation to advance the development of fuel ethanol projects with Pertamina, the state-owned energy company of Indonesia. Pertamina will collaborate exclusively with Celanese jointly to develop synthetic fuel ethanol projects in the Republic of Indonesia utilizing Celanese’s proprietary TCX ethanol process technology. (Earlier post.)
TCX builds on Celanese’s acetyl platform and integrates new technologies to produce ethanol using basic hydrocarbon feedstocks—natural gas, coal and pet coke now, with biomass and waste planned for the future. So far, Celanese has been targeting the industrial ethanol market as part of its acetyl business. The customers are the same, and the supply chain is the same. However, the company last year created a different business unit to help orchestrate and organize a potential fuel ethanol new line of business. (Earlier post.)
In presentations earlier this summer, Celanese said that its initial targeted geographies represent about one-third of projected global growth in ethanol demand, and that its initial opportunities were primarily in Asia.
Indonesia’s current demand for transportation fuel in 2012 is expected to reach approximately 25 million tons and increase 6% annually through at least 2020. A 10% blend of high-octane fuel ethanol by 2020 would potentially require up to four world-scale TCX Technology production units which could reduce Pertamina’s gasoline import requirements by over 30 million barrels annually.
In addition, high-octane fuel ethanol, which improves tailpipe emissions, may also assist Pertamina in meeting Indonesia’s goals of improving the country’s gasoline and air quality standards.
Under the Joint Statement of Cooperation, Celanese and Pertamina will work together to define potential supply arrangements, production locations and distribution strategies. Following this work, along with final investment decisions made by each companies’ management, and receiving all necessary approvals, production could begin in approximately 30 months.
Celanese’s TCX Technology can help Indonesia meet its growing demand for affordable, locally-sourced, high quality and safe liquid transportation fuel. These projects support many of the Indonesian government’s long-term objectives for the use of its abundant local resources, specifically lower-rank coal, to drive economic development, reduce imported energy requirements and to improve environmental and air quality standards.—Steven Sterin, chief financial officer and president of Celanese’s Advanced Fuel Technologies business