Celanese eyes second US methanol plant

16:00 PM | March 31, 2014 | Lindsay Frost

Celanese is exploring plans to construct a 1.3-million m.t./year methanol production unit at its Bishop, TX site. The company says it is preparing necessary environmental permits for the unit.

“The strategic upstream production of methanol and the attractive economics of natural gas in the US Gulf Coast region—combined with the infrastructure at our Bishop facility—make this a unique opportunity for Celanese,” says Mark Rohr, chairman and CEO of Celanese. The unit would use low-cost natural gas in the US Gulf Coast region as a feedstock and would benefit from the existing infrastructure at the site, the company says.

The company says it would also consider a joint venture for the unit in a similar fashion to the joint venture methanol unit currently being constructed at its Clear Lake, TX site. The company began construction on the Clear Lake unit last year and plans for that unit to become operational in the second half of 2015. The Clear Lake plant is a 50/50 jv with Mitsui and Co. and total investment is expected to cost $800 million.

Products manufactured at Celanese's Bishop facility include acetal copolymer, formaldehyde and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene.