Celanese to close acetyl units in Germany

Celanese Chemicals, a business of Germany's Celanese AG, said Thursday it would permanently close its acetyl units in Knapsack, Germany, by the end of the year.


Celanese Chemicals, a business of Germany's Celanese AG, said Thursday it would permanently close its acetyl units in Knapsack, Germany, by the end of the year.

The units include a combination facility with a 70,000-tonne capacity for acetic acid and an 110,000-ton capacity for acetic anhydride as well as a 170,000-tonne acetaldehyde plant. The units employ 98 people. The company will cover the cost of the shutdown in the third quarter with a special charge of 55 million euros.

"Our strategy is to close our older, less competitive acetyl units and to focus most of our acetic acid production at our larger, more efficient plants�'' said Claudio Sonder, chief executive of Celanese AG.

When the Knapsack units close, Celanese will have taken out 480,000 tonnes of acetic acid capacity since June 1999.

Acetic acid customers in Europe will be supplied from Celanese's 1 million-tonne plant in Clear Lake, Tex., and from its 500,000-tonne plant in Singapore. The company's Pampa, Tex., and Cangrejera, Mexico, plants will supply European customers with acetic anhydride.

"We have established new storage capacities for both products in Europe to assure our customers of reliable supply and logistics,'' said John O'Dwyer, business director of acetyls.

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