Hatco-Celanese J.V. Winds Down


Hatco Corp. and Celanese Chemicals on Thursday announced plans to close their German joint venture Estech GmbH, a three-year-old manufacturer of polyol esters. New Jersey-based Hatco said the business did not take off as the partners had hoped.

Hatco was doing business in Europe before and formed the joint venture hoping it would grow, Hatco Vice President of Public Relations David J. Mason said. It didnt grow as quickly as we thought, and it doesnt look likely to grow in the future.

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Estechs plant, in Oberhausen, Germany, will halt production on Oct. 31, and shipments are scheduled to end Nov. 30. Hatco said it plans to supply the joint ventures accounts from its facilities in the United States, which have sufficient spare capacity.

The Estech plant employs approximately 15 people and has annual capacity to make 7,000 metric tons of polyol esters, which are used as base stocks in synthetic lubricants for refrigeration, automotive, aviation and industrial applications. While Hatco brought experience in polyol ester production to the joint venture, Celanese, which is based in Kronberg, Germany, provided the principal raw materials – carboxylic acids and polyols.

Although it was created to serve several industries in Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Estechs biggest target was refrigeration compressor oils. In last weeks announcement, Hatco said those prospects have dimmed due to economic conditions in Europe and the compressor oil market in particular.

Hatco is based in Fords, N.J.

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