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Celanese Moves to Expand UHMW-PE Capacity

Image courtesy of Google Maps Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 9.53.45 AM.png
A sign marking an entrance to the Celanese Corporation chemical complex in Bishop, TX.
The company said it is adding a new production line to a Texas plant in response to increased demand for EVs.

Projected growth in the electric vehicles (EV) market is prompting chemical and specialty materials firm Celanese Corporation to expand its Bishop, TX plant for GUR brand ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE), the company announced in a recent release.

During the project, a new production line will be installed at the Bishop plant to support the firm’s GUR engineered materials portfolio.

“Electric vehicle demand is expected to have a compounded annual growth rate of greater than 25% through 2025, resulting in strong demand for Celanese GUR for lithium ion battery separators,” Tom Kelly, senior vice president, engineered materials for Celanese, said in a statement. “Customers rely on Celanese for a reliable supply of GUR that meets very stringent quality standards, and our capacity expansion at our Bishop integrated chemical complex will enable Celanese to continue to support a growing and diverse customer base and respond to the increasing need for specialty materials such as ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene.”

The new line is expected to produce 15 kt/yr of GUR product when the plant starts up in 2022. Celanese’s plans to expand its US plant follow its project to boost GUR capacity at its Nanjing, China facility.

“The explosive growth in electric vehicle sales around the world demonstrates that lithium ion battery separator demand will experience significant growth in Asia and in Europe over the next five years,” said Kelly. “Celanese, as a reliable materials partner for our customers, is committed to increasing further local manufacturing capabilities to offer unmatched security of supply.”

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