By Ben DuBose
HOUSTON -- US-based chemicals company Celanese said Friday that
a jury ruled in its favor in litigation filed by Southern
Chemical relating to the terms of a multi-year methanol supply
The jury said the contract, under which Celanese has paid
Southern Chemical about $130 million/year, should continue
until its expiration, adding that Celanese did not violate the
terms of the agreement.
We are pleased with the jurys verdict and expect
Southern to continue to supply methanol under the terms of our
contract, said Gjon N. Nivica, Jr., senior vice
president, general counsel and corporate secretary for
The contract, which expires in 2015, is valid for Celanese
operations in the US and Mexico.
Celanese is the largest methanol consumer in the US, while
Southern Chemical is the second-largest supplier (after
Methanex). Under the contract, Celanese received about 800,000
tpy of methanol from Southern Chemical.
Southern Chemical alleged that Celanese was not using the
purchased methanol solely for internal use, instead shipping it
to other chemical companies for more than the contract
Celanese officials, however, said they were selling the
material as methyl acetate and had been given clearance to do
so by Southern Chemical president Jan Spin.
Celanese plans to build a 1.3 million tpy methanol plant in
Clear Lake, Texas, which would presumably replace the Southern
Chemical supply once the contract expires in 2015.
Celanese uses methanol as feedstock for its acetyls complex in