Celanese Corp. plans to construct a methanol production facility at its Clear Lake, TX, acetyl complex to take advantage of abundant natural gas supplies in the region, the company said. “The positive developments in the U.S. energy complex and the current and emerging natural gas surplus make it advantageous for us to produce our own methanol requirements for U.S. acetyl production,” said CEO Mark Rohr. “Utilizing existing Celanese infrastructure helps reduce capital requirements while capturing advantages of state-of-the-art technologies.” Following necessary approvals, Celanese intends to construct a 1.3 million metric ton per year facility with anticipated start-up after July 1, 2015. A significant portion of the methanol produced would be used to support the company’s current operations, Celanese said, adding that it expects to partner with one or more others interested in the remaining methanol.

Greensboro, NC-based Mack Trucks is expanding its variety of natural gas vehicles (NGV) and its hybrid vehicle development programs. Mack plans to offer NGV versions of its Pinnacle and Granite models next year, with both utilizing the Cummins Westport ISX12 G (12-liter) engine, which is scheduled to be commercially available late in 2012. Mack already offers NGV versions of its TerraPro low entry and TerraPro cabover refuse hauler models. Mack’s NGVs are available to run on compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas.

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