Growth in the lithium-ion battery market is leading materials firm Celanese Corp. to add a new production line for GUR-brand ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene at its plant in Bishop, Texas.
Officials with Celanese in Dallas said in an Oct. 23 news release that demand for electric vehicles that use lithium-ion batteries is expected to have compounded annual growth of more than 25 percent through 2025. This trend will result in strong demand for UHMW PE for lithium-ion battery separators.
"Customers rely on Celanese for a reliable supply of GUR that meets very stringent quality standards," Engineered Materials Senior Vice President Tom Kelly said in the release. "Our capacity expansion … will enable Celanese to continue to support a growing and diverse customer base."
The new production line is expected to add about 33 million pounds of GUR capacity by the start of 2022. Following the expansion of GUR capacity completed in June 2019 at Celanese's Nanjing, China, complex, officials said the firm continues to be the only global UHMW PE producer in Asia, North America and Europe.
Celanese ranks as the world's largest producer of acetal resin and produces other specialty plastics and chemicals as well. The firm employs 7,700 and posted sales of $6.3 billion in 2019.