U.S. specialty materials company Celanese Corp. expects to start commercial production at a new 50,000 metric tons per year acetal manufacturing in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia in the third quarter of 2017.
In an June 8 update, the Irving, Texas-based chemicals company said the Ibn Sina joint venture is in the testing phase, in preparation for commercial production.
Ibn Sina is a joint venture between Saudi Arabia's Sabic and CTE, a company jointly owned by subsidiaries of Celanese and Duke Energy.
Celanese, Sabic and Duke Energy entered into the Ibn Sina joint venture in 1981.
Construction of the acetal facility is part of an extension of the Ibn Sina joint venture, which will run through the year 2032.
Subsidiaries of Celanese and Duke Energy each currently hold a 25 percent stake in the venture, with the remaining 50 percent held by Sabic.
Upon the startup of the acetal facility, however, Celanese's economic interest in Ibn Sina will increase from 25 percent to a total of 32.5 percent, Celanese noted.
Methanol produced internally at Ibn Sina will be used as feedstock for the polyacetal unit.
Acetal is a crystalline engineering thermoplastic with high strength and resilience, as well as excellent dimensional stability. It is mainly used in automotive and electronics industries.