US Celanese considering partner in Texas methanol project

05 September 2012 18:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Celanese is considering a partner in its Texas methanol project announced earlier this year, the company’s chief financial officer said on Wednesday.

Celanese plans to build a 1.3m tonne/year methanol plant at Clear Lake near Houston and have it running by July 2015, the US-based chemicals major said in June.

The company plans to spend $500m (€400m) to $1bn on the project, according to comments earlier this year by new Celanese CEO Mark Rohr.

Chief financial officer Steve Sterin said during an investment conference in Boston on Wednesday that Celanese is considering taking on a partner to share the cost.

“To keep the capital down as well as have some shared risk in the project, we are evaluating different partnership structures,” Sterin said. “There’s a number of key players in the industry that have expressed an interest in participating in this project with us.”

Sterin did not say what companies were being considered as potential partners.

Major projects in the US - involving restarting an old plant or moving one - have been announced in the past year by Methanex and LyondellBasell as well as Celanese. OCI restarted a mothballed plant in Texas in July.

North America has become a magnet for methanol projects lately, mostly because of the shale gas revolution and its promise of cheap natural gas feedstock.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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