It is reported that Specialty chemical company Celanese Corp announced a joint venture with Indonesian state owned energy company Pertamina to develop synthetic fuel ethanol from coal.

The companies will use Celanese TCX technology which converts hydrocarbon feedstocks such as coal and natural gas into ethanol.

Ms Karen Agustiawan CEO of Pertamina said development of the fuel is part of Indonesia plan to reduce energy imports and improve air quality standards. Indonesia goal to produce a 10% blend of high octane fuel ethanol by 2020 would potentially require up to four new TCX production plants.

Indonesia expects demand for transportation fuel in the country will reach 25 million tons this year and increase 6% annually through at least 2020.

Celanese said the ethanol produced using Celanese’s TCX technology could reduce Pertamina gasoline import requirements by more than 30 million barrels annually.

Mr Steven Sterin CFO & President of Celanese Advanced Fuel Technologies business said TCX could help Indonesia improve its air quality by reducing particulate matter as well as nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide emissions.

Pending final investment decisions, production is expected to begin in approximately 30 months.

Celanese claims its hydrocarbon to ethanol technology is less expensive than traditional ethanol sources such as corn. But in the United States, ethanol legislation enacted prior to the availability of TCX requires most of the ethanol produced to be derived from corn.

Source - Industry Week

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