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Celanese to significantly expand Clear Lake methanol plant

By Mary Page Bailey |

Celanese Corp. (Dallas, Tex.; www.celanese.com) has announced plans to significantly expand methanol production capacity at the company’s Clear Lake acetyl intermediates manufacturing facility located in Pasadena, Texas.

Celanese has recently been granted approvals from the Fairway Methanol LLC board of directors for a second phase of expansion, which will increase production to 1.7 million metric tons per year (m.t./yr) – approximately 125% of the original nameplate capacity – to be implemented as soon as operationally feasible and pending customary regulatory and permitting approvals. Financial details of the project are not being disclosed at this time.

In parallel with this expansion, Celanese and Mitsui will evaluate additional cost-effective expansion options for the Clear Lake methanol unit.

“Celanese is pleased to deliver on a historic milestone achievement in methanol production using engineering leadership, manufacturing excellence and chemical industry expertise,” said Todd Elliott, Senior Vice President, Acetyls. “Methanol is a crucial raw material for the production of acetic acid and other key chemical products and these expansions will enable Celanese to manage future productivity and growth configuration options for the world’s largest acetyl intermediates production facility, as well as the production network of Celanese acetyls plants globally.”

The Clear Lake methanol unit was commissioned in October of 2015 as a joint venture between Celanese and Mitsui & Co., Ltd., of Tokyo, Japan, with an annual capacity of 1.3 million metric tons. The unit utilizes abundant, low-cost natural gas in the U.S. Gulf Coast region as a feedstock. The joint venture operates as Fairway Methanol LLC, with both Celanese and Mitsui maintaining a 50/50 ownership.

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