As expected, the Celanese (Dallas, TX) board of directors has officially approved the move of engineering polymer producing subsidiary Ticona from its present location in Kelsterbach, Germany southwest of Frankfurt to the Hüchst Industrial Park, across the Main River. The decision came after Celanese held out until last November to remain at the location. This would have hampered construction of a runway expansion at Frankfurts Rhine-Main Airport, commercially know as Fraport, since the Ticona plant would have effectively been at the end of the runway.
The company will now transfer its acetal operations to the site of the former Hüchst chemicals plant where it will build a new facility. Fraport, which is the state of Hesses largest employer and co-owned by the state and city of Frankfurt, has agreed to pay Ticona compensation of €670 million, all of which is taxpayer money. Ticona agrees to leave its present site by mid-2001
Ticona management earlier this year told MPW that it had had offers from more than 26 different industrial sites in and around Germany seeking to lure the company with cheap land, tax breaks, and other benefits. Ticonas decision to transfer operations across the river means that its already-trained staff will not be forced to move but can commute to its new location. In March, it narrowed the selection down to two locations, both within the Rhine-Main metropolitan area. Ticona Managing Director Joachim Gersdorf says the Hüchst site won over its competitor in Wiesbaden for a number of reasons, including raw material and energy supply, costs, infrastructure, delivery routes, employee satisfaction, and security. A decision where to locate the administration offices has not yet been reached but the company has said it plans to keep them within the Rhine-Main area.[email protected]