The planned methanol unit will utilize abundant, low-cost natural gas in the U.S. Gulf Coast region as a feedstock and will benefit from the existing infrastructure at Celanese's Clear Lake facility. As a result, the total shared capital and expense investment in the facility is estimated to be approximately $800 million. Celanese's portion of the investment is estimated to be approximately $300 million, in addition to the previously invested assets at the Celanese Clear Lake facility. The planned methanol facility will have an annual capacity of 1.3 million tons and is expected to begin operations in mid-2015.
"We are excited to expand our Clear Lake operations to include the strategic upstream production of methanol. The attractive economics of natural gas in the U.S. Gulf Coast region, combined with our existing infrastructure and an outstanding strategic partner in Mitsui, provides Celanese with this unique growth opportunity," said Mark Rohr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Celanese Corporation.
Masami Iijima, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. said: "We are very pleased to have Celanese as a strategic joint venture partner for the U.S. methanol project. Mitsui will be able to generate additional value in the gas product chain starting from our shale gas reserve we possess in the U.S. to methanol with Celanese's state-of-the-art capabilities in manufacturing, operations and safety. This partnership should be long-term and be expanded towards further joint projects in the future."
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