Celanese Expands Co-Polyesters in Italy
In response to growing global demand, Celanese has announced plans to expand Pibiflex and Riteflex thermoplastic co-polyester production at its Donegani facility in Ferrara, Italy.
The US producer of specialty materials and chemicals will add a new polymerization line, which will be completed in the next 15 to 18 months. Celanese previously commissioned a solid-state polymerization unit at the Donegani plant in September 2018. The company, which did not disclose capacity figures, said the additional capacity will support growth in sophisticated, functionalized polymers.
Thermoplastic copolyesters are block copolymers that combine favorable characteristics of vulcanized rubber with the easy processing ability of thermoplastics for toughness, tear and flex fatigue resistance over a wide temperature range.
Celanese also produces a wide range of other thermoplastic elastomers, such as thermoplastic vulcanizate, thermoplastic olefins and thermoplastic elastomers based on styrenic block copolymers, among others.
The project is the second the company has announced so far this year. In January, Celanese revealed it would expand its Clear Lake acetic acid plant in Texas, USA, from 1.3 million t/y to around 2 million t/y by late 2021.
The expansion is part of the US company’s program to reconfigure its global acetic acid production – around 600,000 t/y of production in Singapore and in Nanjing, China, will be rationalized with a limited net change in its overall network.
The purchase last month of the former Linde 365,000 t/y syngas plant at Clear Lake has given Celanese extra feedstock availability at the site along with enhancing its integration and operational flexibility.
Once completed, Celanese said the program will generate around $100 million of productivity and efficiency benefits across its acetic acid platform.