01 May 2000 00:00 [Source: QL]
Celanese will cease production at its 165 000 tonne/year acetic acid plant at Cangrejera, Mexico, at the end of July as part of its strategy to focus on larger, more efficient units.
Earlier in the year the company announced it would halt production of acetic acid, acetic anhydride, acetone derivatives and acetone esters at its Celaya facility, Mexico, by the end of this year (QL February 2000). Celanese plans to convert the Cangrejera plant into an acetone derivatives unit for startup in quarter four of this year, replacing capacity to be shut down at Celaya.
The closure of the Cangrejera unit will coincide with the startup of the new 500 000 tonne/year acetic acid unit being commissioned by Celanese in Singapore. 'By closing the less competitive operations, such as Cangrejera, and starting up our Singapore plant, we will improve the global efficiency of our operations,' said Knut Zeptner, chief executive officer of Celanese chemicals and acetates.
The new Singapore unit will use Celanese's patented AO methanol carbonylation technology, also used at its 1m tonne/year Clear Lake, Texas, US, unit.
The Cangrejera unit, said Celanese, operates on the older, less efficient acetaldehyde-based oxidation technology. Cangrejera's existing acetic acid customers will be supplied from the Clear Lake unit and the company says it has already invested in additional storage capacity.
With the closure of Cangrejera, Celanese will have shut approximately 400 000 tonne/year of acetic acid capacity, including its 180 000 tonne/year Frankfurt, Germany, unit in June 1999 and its 65 000 tonne/year Celaya, Mexico, unit in November 1999.
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