Haynes and Boone Advises Celanese in $800 Million Methanol Joint Venture


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lawyers from Haynes and Boone, LLP assisted Celanese Corporation in creating an approximately $800 million joint venture with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. to develop and construct a methanol production plant designed to take advantage of the abundant new supplies of U.S. natural gas. The new joint venture will be known as Fairway Methanol LLC.

The facility, to be built near the existing Celanese acetyl complex in Clear Lake, Texas, will have a capacity of 1.3 million tons per year and is expected to start operations in 2015.

The new plant is one of several methanol plants being constructed across North America that are expected to substantially increase U.S. methanol production by 2020. Celanese intends to use its fifty percent share of the plant’s output in the production of downstream products like acetic acid and derivative products.

“We are excited to expand our Clear Lake operations to include the strategic upstream production of methanol,” said Celanese Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Rohr. “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 Haynes and Boone legal team advised Celanese in negotiating and drafting agreements governing the joint venture, the contribution of assets and leasing of land to the joint venture company, and the development, construction and operation of the facility.

Haynes and Boone’s deal team was led by Washington, D.C. Partner Arthur Cohen, co-chair of the firm's Projects Practice Group and chair of the firm's Joint Ventures Group. Washington, D.C. Partner Rick Ripley assisted in antitrust matters, and Washington, D.C. Partner Jeff Wolfson assisted in intellectual property matters. Other lawyers involved included Washington, D.C. Associate Robert Hayes and Houston Partner Robert Ladd (real estate). In-house counsel for Celanese was Senior Counsel Adam Shulman. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP represented Mitsui.

The closing under the joint venture agreement, which was signed in May 2013, occurred on Feb. 4, at which time the parties provided initial capital contributions to the joint venture company.

About Celanese Corporation
Celanese is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. It is a Fortune 500 company with sales across North America, Europe, and Asia. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs about 7,600 employees worldwide and had 2012 net sales of $6.4 billion.

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