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Celanese to Increase Capacity for Emulsion Polymers

January 31, 2020

Chemical and specialty materials firm Celanese is making investments in two facilities to expand its capacity for emulsion polymers in a bid to increase the value of its global acetyl chain, the company announced in a release Wednesday. 

“As a world leader in the acetyls and derivatives space, Celanese has an unparalleled, globally integrated production, distribution, and sales network to maximize the acetyl chain’s downstream optionality and capture growth in key regions and end uses,” Todd Elliott, senior vice president of Acetyls at Celanese, said in a statement. “Building on our commitment to our global customer base to be the partner of choice by solving their most critical needs, Celanese will begin key investments in facility expansions, as well as expand on our green technology product development to deliver on the global growth demands of our customers.”

One part of the investment will be used for a debottlenecking project at its production plant in Nanjing, China, adding some 20,000 tn/yr of capacity for vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) to the site by 2022. The company said it will add a third VAE to the plant by late 2022 that will lift production by another 65,000 mt/yr.

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“These expansion steps support emulsions growth plans in Asia through Celanese’s sustainable products and solutions in end uses such as redispersible powders and waterproofing,” the company said. 

Celanese is also investing in an additional debottlenecking project at its Geleen, Netherlands plant that will add 20,000 mt/yr of VAE capacity when work is completed in 2021. Another VAE reactor will be installed in the site by 2023, expanding its capacity by another 50,000 mt/yr. The company said the investment in the European facility will help the company to increase its operating flexibility in the region. 

The company did not reveal the financial details of the expansions. Celanese said it has evaluated other capital projects to increase capacity by 25,000 mt/yr at other emulsion sites, and will implement the plan in 2023. 

Earlier this month, Celanese announced that it entered into an agreement to buy Nouryon’s Elotex brand of dispersible polymer powders, including all associated production facilities in Europe and Asia.

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