Celanese Corporation is establishing a European Compounding Center of Excellence at the Company’s Forli, Italy facility, which includes the intended consolidation of its compounding operations in Kaiserslautern, Germany; Wehr, Germany; and Ferrara Marconi, Italy. Celanese acquired the Forli site when it purchased Forli, Italy-based SO.F.TER. Group, one of the world’s largest independent thermoplastic compounders in 2016.
Creating a European Compounding Center of Excellence aligns with Celanese’s global compounding model already in place in the Americas and Asia regions. Forli is a viable choice for this model, not only due to having the largest existing infrastructure and capabilities for specialty compounding, but also because of its physical layout which allows for future expansion, paired with existing knowledge and expertise of the Company’s extensive engineering polymers portfolio.
“The Engineered Materials business is a critical growth engine for Celanese, and we continue to take the strategic steps needed to ensure the future success and expansion of this business,” said Tom Kelly, Senior Vice President, Engineered Materials, Celanese. “For this reason, Celanese today announced to employees and employee representation bodies the intention to create a European Compounding Center of Excellence in Forli, Italy, and transition the compounding operations from our Ferrara Marconi, Italy; and Wehr and Kaiserslautern, Germany sites, to the Company’s Forli, Italy facility. This action is being taken to further optimize the global manufacturing footprint of our Engineered Materials facilities as part of a long-term strategy to be the preferred partner for our customers, as well as maintain our competitive position in the specialty materials market.”
Celanese intends to consolidate the compounding production volumes from the Ferrara Marconi, Wehr and Kaiserslautern sites to the Company’s manufacturing facility in Forli to improve the overall utilization of compounding assets. Celanese will transfer respective engineered materials product items (SKUs) to the Forli facility depending on customer needs and logistical considerations with the expectation that all compounding volumes from the Ferrara Marconi, Wehr and Kaiserslautern sites will be relocated there.
Celanese expects to complete this transfer and consolidation of compounding operations in the next 12–24 months. During this timeframe inventory build, customer requalification and transfer of compounding assets will take place and key dates will be communicated to customers and employees as the effort progresses.
Celanese’s engineered materials product portfolio includes a variety of engineering plastic compounds based on polyamide (PA), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), polyacetal (POM), and long glass fiber-reinforced thermoplastics based on PA and polypropylene (PP) matrix materials and glass fiber, carbon fiber, aramid fiber, and stainless steel filament reinforcements.