Celanese to close small VAM plant in Mexico

12 February 2009 20:36  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Celanese plans to close a vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant in Mexico by the end of February, but the action will have little market impact due to the size of the facility and low demand, a large buyer said on Thursday.

Celanese attributed the the closing at Cangrejera to “significant change in the global economic environment, the cost structure of its VAM unit operations in Cangrejera, and anticipated lower customer demand.”

The Cangrejera plant capacity of 115,000 tonnes/year is only about a third the size of either one of Celanese's two Texas VAM plants, each of which both produce 300,000 tonnes/year or more.

"That plant is relatively small, so it's insignificant," the buyer said of the Mexico unit. The buyer added that VAM demand is off so much now that even closing one of the Texas plants would probably have little effect.

"Demand is off so much right now it wouldn't matter," the buyer said. "Later, when things pick up, it would of course make a difference."

Celanese said it expects to meet its customer obligations for VAM production from Celanese facilities in North America, Asia and Europe.

Celanese said in late January that it was considering closing the VAM plant in Mexico and its VAM and acetic acid plant in Pardies, France, due to the global economic environment and lower customer demand.

Celanese said the Cangrejera plant would continue making other products including acetic anhydride, ethyl acetate, methylamines, acetone derivatives, and mesityl oxide to meet customer commitments in Mexico and other countries.

($1 = €0.78)

For more on Celanese's Cangrejera, Mexico plant, visit ICIS plants and projects
For more on vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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