Celanese Hikes Global Compounding Capacities
US producer Celanese has announced plans to expand its global capacities for compounding and engineering plastics in order to meet rising demand from key industries such as medical, automotive, consumer goods and electronics.
The company did not reveal investment costs for the projects, which are are expected to be completed in 2018-2019.
“These planned capacity expansions at selected Celanese facilities – along with our recent acquisitions – will enable us to continue to support a growing and diverse customer base and respond to the increasing need for compounded specialty materials, long-fiber thermoplastics (LFT) and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE),” said Scott Richardson, senior vice president for Celanese’s engineered materials business.
Two additional compounding lines will be added in Nanjing, China, and another in Suzhou. The latter site was added to Celanese’s network through the acquisition of Israel’s Nilit Plastics in February of this year.
In the US, two more lines will be installed in Florence, Kentucky, while production at Bishop, Texas, will be expanded. In Europe, Celanese will add another line at its site in Forli, Italy, which it acquired in the takeover of the SO.F.TER group last year.
Overall, the new lines and expansions will add roughly 50-60,000 t/y of compounding capacity. Debottlenecks of existing lines will yield a further 10-15,000 t/y of compounded material, Celanese said.
Production of Celstran LFT will rise by 9,000 t/y by adding a line in Winona, Minnesota, USA, together with debottlenecks of the plant’s existing capacity. Celanese is also planning to build another line for its GUR UHMW-PE in Nanjing, adding around 15,000 t/y.
The Dallas, Texas-based group announced earlier this month that it has finished a 12-month program of debottlenecking as well as the transfer of some polymer capacity. Richardson said the debottlenecks have raised output by more than 10% at each unit.
Projects have been carried out at plants producing GUR UHMW-PE in Bishop and Nanjing; Hostaform and Celcon polyacetal in Bishop as well as in Frankfurt, Germany; and Fortron polyphenylene sulfide in Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. In addition, Celanese has transferred production of Celanex polybutylene terephthalate grades into its recently acquired facility in Silao, Mexico.