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Celanese partners with Mitsui on new methanol plant near Houston

05.15.2013  |  HP News

US-based Celanese struck a deal with Japan's Mitsui & Co. to build a new methanol production unit at Celanese's integrated chemicals complex in Clear Lake, Texas.


US-based Celanese and Japan-based Mitsui have established a 50:50 joint venture for the production of methanol at Celanese's integrated chemical plant in Clear Lake, Texas, the companies said Wednesday.

Clear Lake is located about 30 miles southeast of Houston.

The planned methanol unit will utilize abundant, low-cost natural gas in the US Gulf Coast region as a feedstock and will benefit from the existing infrastructure at Celanese's Clear Lake facility, officials said. 

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 previously-invested assets at the Celanese Clear Lake facility. 

"We are excited to expand our Clear Lake operations to include the strategic upstream production of methanol," said Mark Rohr, CEO of Celanese. The attractive economics of natural gas in the US Gulf Coast region, combined with our existing infrastructure and an outstanding strategic partner in Mitsui, provides Celanese with this unique growth opportunity."

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 very pleased to have Celanese as a strategic joint venture partner for the US methanol project," said Masami Iijima, CEO of Mitsui.

"Mitsui will be able to generate additional value in the gas product chain starting from our shale gas reserve we possess in the US to methanol with Celanese's capabilities in manufacturing, operations and safety," he added. "This partnership should be long-term and be expanded towards further joint projects in the future."

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Maher Louis, PE, PEng

This plant produces methanol out of natural gas. Natural gas has a higher heat of combustion than methanol. That is this plant is degrading the value of natural gas.
I do not blame Celanese as this is a complete trend to convert natural gas to methanol, by reacting natural gas with water (steam).
Before this we have destroyed completely the value of coal by referring to the level of ignorance and mental tardiness, when we reacted coal with water (steam) producing water gas. Water gas has the same deficiency of having a lower heat of combustion than coal.
The appropriate process is to react coal with natural gas to produce ethylene gas: C + CH4 = C2H4, ethylene gas sells at $1200/ton, while today coal sells at less than $100/ton, and natural gas sells at $170/ton. These prices discrepancies provide a material proof that there is something going wrong???
Reacting a fuel (coal, or natural gas) with water (steam) destroys the value fuel. IS THIS DIFFICULT TO REALIZE????
We established a humble website to give an idea: coalplantsengineering.com

HD Pearson

I was at Celanese when the first Lugri process methanol plant was built there in the early 1970's, and was part of the utilities commissioning group for all the process units including the methanol plant.
I have about fourty + years in mechanical, operational ,engineering FEED,utility,and construction commissioning and start up , in the refinery,chemical, offshore,power, water and waste water, up stream oil and gas and mining processing industries.
I am avalable for construction management, inspection,commissioning and start up, and turnover package compiling when the project gets started, for the right compensation package. Either as a 1099 or 1040 hire.
Thank You
H D Pearson
918 774 6518


For production of Methanol from Natural Gas, the first step is conversion of NG to Syngas. For conversion of Natural Gas to Synthesis Gas (Syngas) you may go for MIDREX Reformer. MIDREX reformer is most energy efficient when compare with all the available reformer processes.
MIDREX is a US based company owned by KOBE STEEL

You may consider my candidature for this project(syngas loop from concept to commissioning & Performance gaurante test)

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