Celanese plans to build coal-to-ethanol plants in China

10 November 2010 02:22  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Celanese plans to build as many as two coal-to-ethanol complexes in China as well as a smaller natural gas-to-ethanol plant in Texas, the company said on Tuesday.

Celanese said it would use recently developed technology to produce ethanol for chemical applications and other industrial uses.

“We are very excited about our technology advancement as it allows us to address growing global demand for ethanol in industrial applications,” said David Weidman, chairman and chief executive officer of Celanese.

Celanese said it intended to build “one, and possibly two, industrial ethanol complexes in China to serve the fast-growing Asian region", each with a capacity of about 400,000 tonnes/year.

The company could begin production within 30 months after project approvals, it said.

“Current chemical application demand for ethanol in China is approximately 3m tonnes annually and is expected to grow between 8% and 10% per year,” the company said.

The China plants would use coal as the primary raw material.

“The company has successfully integrated newly developed technologies with elements of our proprietary advanced acetyl platform to provide an economically-advantaged solution for global ethanol needs,” Weidman said.

Celanese said it also planned to build a 40,000 tonne/year ethanol plant at its Clear Lake facility in Texas, US, for either internal use or merchant demand.

The company said it expected construction of the Clear Lake plant to begin in mid-2011 and to be completed by the end of 2012. The Clear Lake facility would use natural gas as its primary raw material.

Celanese did not provide information regarding the costs of the plants.

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By: Brian Ford
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