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US Celanese plans to enter Chinas fuel ethanol market

December 16/2010

(ICIS) -- US chemical company Celanese plans to enter Chinas fuel ethanol market to capitalise on the countrys goals in renewable fuels consumption, chief financial officer Steven Sterin said on Wednesday.


Celanese announced in November its plans to build one or two coal-based ethanol plants in China - each with capacity of 400,000 short tons/year. Each plants capacity could be expanded to 1m tons/year at a fraction of the original capital investment, said Sterin in an interview with ICIS.


The cost to build a 400,000 ton/year plant was expected to be around $300m (?225m), he added.


Once approved, the Chinese plants - whose locations were still to be decided - would take 30 months to build and would initially serve the domestic industrial ethanol market, which was growing 8-10%/year, as estimated by Celanese.


Current chemical applications demand for ethanol in China - for products including solvents, inks, lacquers, paints and coatings - was estimated at 3m tons/year, according to the company.


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