15 December 2008 23:00 [Source: ICIS news]
The deal calls for Celanese to begin distributing etac made as a by-product at Solutia's plants in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Trenton, Michigan, on 1 January, 2009, Solutia said in a statement.
The combined etac capacity from Solutia's two plants is approximately 22,000 tonnes/year, the company said.
The deal leaves only Celanese and Eastman Chemical as major sellers of the US product. Celanese is closing its US etac plant in Pampa, Texas, at the end of this year. The Texas plant produced 60,000 tonnes/year of etac.
Solutia's current marketing partner, BP, has said it will continue to honour current supply contracts and agreements until 31 December.
BP wants to get out of the etac business. In March 2007, BP notified customers by letter saying that it planned to sell its European etac plant and was reconsidering the sale of the material in the US.
Solutia's global business director, Wing Kwang, said: "As they transition out of the ethyl acetate business, we look forward to working with Celanese."
Kwang said customers would be notified that Celanese was Solutia's new marketing partner.
Celanese's John Caamano, global business manager, said in a statement that the deal would insure that supplies would continue to etac customers.
US etac spot prices for export ranged from 58-63 cents/lb ($1,279-1,389/tonne, €959-1,042/tonne) during the week ended 9 December, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
Major US etac producers include Celanese, Eastman Chemical and Solutia.
($1 = €0.75)
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