Celanese Integrated Acetyls Complex, Jurong Island, Singapore


During 1998, Germany-based Celanese announced that it was investing $300 million to build an integrated acetyls complex. The complex is located on Jurong Island, Singapore, adjacent to a vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant owned by Celanese. The complex produces 100,000t/yr of acetate ester and 500,000t/yr of acetic acid.

ACETIC ACID PLANT

The acetic acid plant became operational in July 2000 and was inaugurated in September 2000; the plant took two years to build. Around 40% of the acetic acid produced is processed by Celanese.

CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT

In July 1998 Foster Wheeler announced that it had been awarded a contract from Celanese to build its acetyls complex. The contract was awarded on an engineering, procurement and construction management basis.

The acetate ester unit was commissioned two months ahead of schedule and the acetic acid was mechanically complete one month ahead of schedule. All of the work was completed within the project's budget. Staff from Foster Wheeler offices in Asia, Europe and the US were involved in the project.

Construction included driving over 2,000 piles, 10,000m³ of concrete, erecting 500t of steel, 35,000m of pipe and 90,000m of cable.

ACETIC ACID PRODUCTION PROCESS

The acetic acid plant uses Celanese' Acid Optimisation (AO) process. It allows acetic acid to be produced particularly cheaply on the basis of methanol and carbon monoxide.

FEEDSTOCK SUPPLY

In 1998 Texaco and Messer Griesheim announced that they were forming a joint venture to build, own and operate a gasification plant in Singapore. The plant produces carbon monoxide, a feedstock used for the production of acetic acid. The joint venture company is called Singapore Syngas.

The plant has the capacity to gasify some 600t/d of low value refinery feedstock and produce 900t/d of carbon monoxide, which is sold to Celanese.

FINANCING

In February 2000 Texaco announced the closing of $175 million of project financing for the gasification plant. The plant became commercially operational in 2000. Dresdner Bank of Germany was the lead underwriter of the limited recourse financing for the gasification project.

PRODUCTION PROBLEMS

Celanese said that due to problems with its supplier of carbon monoxide, Singapore Syngas, it was not able to meet all its Asian customers' allocations. The problems continued into 2001 as Singapore Syngas was unable to resolve the problems with its carbon monoxide production.

Later in 2001 Celanese announced that it was able to resume supplying customers with their full allocation of acetic acid.