Celanese to augment acetic acid production using new technology at China facility

12-May-09
Global chemical company Celanese Corporation (USA) recently announced to increase its cost savings estimates to approximately US$250 mln by 2010, compared with its previously announced estimates of between US$100 - 120 mln. The company said it will achieve this by streamlining production with demand among other measures. Steven Sterin, senior vice president and chief financial officer said, "In 2009 and 2010, we plan to invest between $250 million and $270 million in high-return productivity projects in order to generate the savings that we have identified, placing the company in an excellent position to expand its earnings and to continue to generate a strong cash flow." The company is banking on breakthroughs in its proprietary AOPlus® acetic acid technology. According to the company, the new technology - AOPlus®2 - will increase acetic acid production from its current capacity of 1.2 mln tons per reactor to approximately 1.5 mln tons at a fraction of the cost of a new facility. This technology is applicable to existing and new greenfield units. In light of the growing demand for acetic acid in China, the company plans to twice the current capacity of 600,000 tons at its Nanjing facility to 1.2 mln tons by the end of 2009. Using its new AOPlus®2 capability, the facility could be further expanded to 1.5 mln tons with only modest additional capital. In addition, Celanese is considering options for additional vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) manufacturing units in the region.
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