Celanese to accelerate production of ethanol from hydrocarbon feedstocks in China to mid-2013; opening new ethanol technology R&D facilities in the US
Celanese Corporation will accelerate its original schedule and now expects to begin industrial ethanol production in China earlier than previously announced. Celanese’s process technology builds on the company’s acetyl platform and integrates new technologies to produce ethanol using basic hydrocarbon feedstocks. (Earlier post.)
In addition to the company’s previously announced plans for one, and possibly two, greenfield units, the company plans to modify and enhance its existing integrated acetyl facility at the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park with its TCX advanced technology. The modifications would add approximately 200,000 tons of ethanol production capacity by mid-2013, pending approvals, and would accelerate the project six to twelve months from its previous plan.
The new ethanol production would increase the overall profitability of the site by enhancing the mix of products manufactured with the current capacity of certain critical raw materials available at the site. Total investment for the project is expected to be a fraction of the required capital for a greenfield facility.
This project acceleration allows us to begin industrial ethanol production significantly earlier than previously anticipated to capture demand growth in China and create value for our shareholders.—David Weidman, chairman and CEO
The company also announced it has broken ground on the previously announced technology development unit for ethanol production at its facility in Clear Lake, Texas, which is now expected to be operational by mid-2012. The company also intends to construct a new research and development facility at the Clear Lake site to continue the advancement of its acetyl and TCX technologies.