HOUSTON (ICIS)--Celanese is to “significantly expand” methanol capacity at its Clear Lake acetyl intermediates manufacturing facility in Pasadena, Texas, the US-headquartered chemicals producer said on Wednesday.
The company has been granted approvals from the board of its Fairway Methanol joint venture (JV) with Japan’s Mitsui & Co for a second phase expansion, which will increase production to 1.7m tonnes/year.
The Clear Lake methanol unit was commissioned in October 2015 as a JV between Celanese and Mitsui & Co with an annual capacity of 1.3m tonnes.
The expansion project will be implemented “as soon as operationally feasible” and pending customary regulatory and permitting approvals. Financial details were not disclosed.
In parallel with this expansion, Celanese and Mitsui will evaluate additional cost effective expansion options for the Clear Lake methanol unit, Celanese added.
“Celanese is pleased to deliver on a historic milestone achievement in methanol production using engineering leadership, manufacturing excellence and chemical industry expertise,” said Todd Elliott, senior vice president, acetyls.
“Methanol is a crucial raw material for the production of acetic acid and other key chemical products and these expansions will enable Celanese to manage future productivity and growth configuration options for the world’s largest acetyl intermediates production facility, as well as the production network of Celanese acetyls plants globally,” said Elliott.
The existing methanol unit utilises low-cost natural gas in the US Gulf Coast region as a feedstock.
The JV operates as Fairway Methanol LLC, with both Celanese and Mitsui maintaining a 50/50 ownership.