Celanese Corp. is increasing global capacity for some of its specialty materials and compounds.
In Europe, Dallas-based Celanese will add 75 million pounds of annual production capacity for GUR-brand ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene. Site selection for the new European facility is underway, and Celanese is considering both existing and greenfield locations, officials said in a recent news release. The firm already makes UHMWPE at a site in Oberhausen, Germany.
The new site is expected to be operational in 2024. Celanese previously had announced the addition of 33 million pounds of new UHMWPE capacity in Bishop, Texas, with a 2022 start date.
Officials said the new UHMWPE production facility in Europe will support significant growth for applications in the electric vehicle and medical markets.
In electric vehicles, Celanese officials "see separator manufacturers and battery producers investing in the European region and looking for local supply," Tom Kelly, engineered materials senior vice president, said in the release.
Celanese also is expanding compounding capacity for engineered materials in China and India. Most of the new capacity will be in Nanjing, China, where the firm will add about 115 million pounds of annual capacity for compounds and long-fiber thermoplastics (LFT) by the second half of 2023.
In Suzhou, China, Celanese will add about 15 million pounds of nylon compounding capacity by the second quarter of 2022. In Silvassa, India, the firm will add about 15 million pounds of compounding capacity for various materials by the first quarter of 2022.
"By continuing to increase our Asia presence in the engineered materials market, Celanese is adapting to local customer needs and gaining a competitive advantage in a complex and changing environment," Kelly said in a news release.
Celanese ranks as the world's largest producer of acetal resin and makes other specialty plastics as well. The firm employs 7,700 and posted sales of $5.7 billion in 2020.