Celanese Corporation recently announced a consolidation of its global acetate manufacturing operations by initiating the closure of its acetate tow manufacturing unit in Ocotlán, Jalisco, Mexico. The consolidation is designed to strengthen the company’s competitive position, reduce fixed costs and align future production capacities with anticipated industry demand.
Marcel van Amerongen, Vice President of Celanese’s Cellulose Derivatives business, said: “As Celanese has discussed over the last many months, the global business environment for acetate tow products is challenging. Global demand for acetate tow is declining, and for the foreseeable future we are not projecting improvements in this business environment. The acetate tow business is an important one for Celanese and we are taking the strategic steps needed to ensure success in the future.”
Celanese will also increase list and off-list selling prices for the following acetyl intermediate product. The price increases below are for orders shipped and will be effective immediately, or as contracts otherwise allow, and are incremental to any previously announced increases.
The company will continue to serve its acetate tow customers by optimizing its global production network, which includes wholly owned facilities in Lanaken, Belgium, and Narrows, Virginia, USA, as well as the company’s acetate tow joint venture facilities in China. Celanese expects to operate its acetate tow unit in Ocotlán through the fourth quarter of 2018 to ensure a smooth closure process.
Key products manufactured at the Ocotlán plant include cellulose acetate flake and filter tow. The plant’s nameplate capacity is approximately 20,000 tons of acetate tow and 52,000 tons of acetate flake. The acetate flake operation, which employs more than 200 employees at the Ocotlán site, remains unaffected by these actions.