As we come to the end of this 10 decade blog series, what stands out quite prominently is that this is only the beginning of the Story of Celanese. Our company continues to grow and thrive because of the steps former leaders took on our behalf and on behalf of Celanese. Through innovation, diversification and sheer determination, Celanese has not only survived, but also succeeded against all odds throughout the last 100 years.
This decade began with rapid growth in the form of expansion as well as several acquisitions. The company acquired two product lines, including Zenite® liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and Thermx® polycyclohexylene-dimethylene terephthalate (PCT) from DuPont Performance Polymers in 2010.
In addition, Celanese inaugurated the world’s largest POM manufacturing plant in 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany, strengthening the company’s engineering polymers business. The design and construction of this plant set new benchmarks in safety, while responding to the growing demand for Hostaform® POM (acetal copolymer); and with a then-announced nameplate capacity of 140,000 tons per year, the new POM plant was the world’s largest.
In world news, the U.S. Navy Seals raided a residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011, killing Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al-Quaeda, the organization considered responsible for the terrorist activity of September 11, 2001.
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee marking the 60th anniversary of her accession to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
In 2013, Celanese broke ground on a $150 million project at the Narrows, Virginia acetate plant to replace coal-fired boilers with environmentally-friendly natural gas. The plant had used coal-fired boilers to power essential machinery since it opened in 1939. Today, the Narrows plant employs more than 1,000 workers and is one of the leading producers worldwide of acetate tow filtration products.
In the same year, Celanese and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan, established a 50:50 joint venture for the production of methanol at Celanese’s integrated chemical complex in Clear Lake, Texas.
Celanese CEO, Mark Rohr said at the time: “We are excited to expand our Clear Lake operations to include the strategic upstream production of methanol. The attractive economics of natural gas in the U.S. Gulf Coast region, combined with our existing infrastructure and an outstanding strategic partner in Mitsui, provides Celanese with this unique growth opportunity.”
The Clear Lake, Texas plant began methanol production in 2015 and is among the largest methanol production facilities in the U.S.
Celanese also opened the Commercial and Technology Center in the Querétaro region of Mexico in 2015 to serve an expanding Central and South American customer base and provide support to the automotive, consumer electronics, appliance, medical device, petrochemical and aerospace industries, as well as original equipment manufacturers and their tier suppliers.
On April 25, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, causing 8,857 deaths and nearly 22,000 injuries. The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing 21 and making April 25 the deadliest day on the mountain in history. And in July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft performed a close flyby of Pluto, becoming the first spacecraft in history to visit the distant planet.
In 2016, Celanese acquired SO.F.TER., doubling the number of Celanese global engineered materials product platforms and further extending Celanese’s world-class leadership model, solutions capability and project pipeline.
The company also opened a new Customer Solution Center the next year in Tokyo, Japan in 2017 to support growth in its Asian markets, advance technical capabilities of its product portfolio in the region, and enable close collaboration with customers in their selection of engineered materials and innovative polymer technologies.
Later that year, Celanese acquired Nilit Plastics, the nylon compounding division of Nilit, extending its global leadership position in the engineered materials business.
Finally, the hundredth year (2018) has been a busy one, as the company opened a new Customer Color & Aesthetics Solution Center at the Florence, Kentucky compounding and manufacturing facility to support the growth of an ever-increasing engineered materials customer base and to enable close collaboration in the selection and design of aesthetics products.
In Budapest, Hungary, Celanese was the first tenant of the recently completed Promenade Gardens office building, occupying 4,200 square meters of the new building’s first and second floors.
Also in 2018, Celanese launched a new social intranet, ONE, on October 1, as a tool to connect employees around the globe in their local languages and allow a broader scope of collaboration, contribution and engagement across our entire organization.
And most recently on October 11, the company announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire India-based Next Polymers Ltd., one of the country’s largest domestic engineering thermoplastics (ETP) compounders. The company has extensive experience in compounding polymers with post-industrial content, an increasingly important capability for Celanese that reinforces our commitment to waste minimization and sustainability.
Thank you for following the 100 Year blog series throughout this year. We have much to be proud of and much to look forward to as Celanese continues its upward trajectory. We look forward to the next 100 years as our future unfolds.
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