Celanese, Pertamina advance ethanol pact

Celanese Corp. and state-owned PT Pertamina (Persoro) of Indonesia have advanced an earlier agreement to build plants in the Asian country to make fuel ethanol from coal (OGJ Online, July 23, 2012).

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding and will begin detailed project planning based on the US company’s proprietary TCX ethanol technology, a thermochemical process based on its acetyl platform.

The earlier agreement covered potential production locations, coal supply options, and an ethanol-distribution strategy. The new agreement states the companies’ intentions to establish a partnership under which Celanese would maintain a majority share and license the technology.

The companies now will select the first of as many as four production locations, start permitting, and negotiate coal-supply and other industrial partner agreements. They expect to complete this phase of work by yearend.

They expect production to begin at an undisclosed rate about 30 months after final investment decisions and government approvals.

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