Growth dynamics from EV sector create momentum in Europe for UHMW-PE production
DALLAS and AMSTERDAM (March 24, 2021) – Celanese Corporation (NYSE: CE), a global chemical and specialty materials company, today announces its intent to expand its GUR® ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) production capacity in Europe.
In addition to the recently announced Bishop, Texas, GUR® expansion of approximately 15KT per year coming online beginning in 2022, Celanese intends to invest in additional capacity for GUR® in Europe. The expansion in Europe is expected to be online beginning in 2024 with an annual nameplate capacity of approximately 34KT. Site selection for this new European facility is underway, and Celanese is considering both existing and greenfield locations for a GUR® production unit.
The addition of a new UHMW-PE production facility in Europe will support the significant growth in the company’s high-value GUR® engineered materials portfolio. With this investment, Celanese will be able to support the double-digit growth for LIBS (Lithium Ion Battery Separators) in the electric vehicle (EV) market. The new facility will also have the option to produce medical grade GUR®.
“EV demand is expected to have a compounded annual growth rate of greater than 25 percent through 2025, resulting in strong demand for Celanese GUR® for LIBS,” said Tom Kelly, Celanese Senior Vice President, Engineered Materials. “We see separator manufacturers and battery producers investing in the European region and looking for local supply. European demand in that sector for UHMWE-PE is forecasted to outperform demand in Asia, and Celanese is well positioned as the world’s premier GUR® manufacturer to support this demand requirement.”
Customers look to Celanese for a reliable supply of GUR® that meets very stringent quality standards, and the recently announced capacity expansions at the company’s Bishop, Texas integrated chemical complex will enable Celanese to continue to support a growing and diverse customer base and respond to the increasing need for specialty materials such as UHMW-PE. Furthermore, the expansion of GUR® capacity completed in June of 2019 at the company’s Nanjing, China, integrated chemical complex, continues to position Celanese as the only truly global producer of UHMWE-PE, giving Celanese the unique ability to work closely with its customers in all regions of the world.
Financial details of this GUR® expansion are not being disclosed at this time. Additional project details will be announced as further developments are available.