Celanese Ventures and Novolen to cooperate in the field of metallocene catalysts


The Hague, The Netherlands, July 31, 2002 -- Celanese Ventures and Novolen Technology Holdings have signed a contract to cooperate in the fields of metallocene synthesis and metallocene catalyst synthesis. The aim of the agreement is to develop new and improved metallocenes, co-catalysts and metallocene catalysts.

“By cooperating closely with Celanese Ventures, we are joining forces with one of the leading companies in the field of high performance metallocenes and alternative co-catalysts," says Godofredo Follmer, of Novolen. "The agreement will enable us to strengthen our current research and development program, to broaden the fields of application for metallocene-based polypropylene and to accelerate the commercialization of metallocene technology.”
The portfolio of metallocene patent rights and the outstanding expertise in the key areas of metallocene technology on lab, pilot and commercial scale will enable Novolen Technology Holdings to license metallocene technology to all interested manufacturers of premium polypropylene.

In applications such as domestic appliances, furniture, sanitary equipment, automotive and packaging products, polypropylene is rapidly replacing conventional materials and other plastics, particularly higher priced polymers. The polypropylene grades manufactured using Novolen Technology Holdings' metallocene catalyst and process technology offer new opportunities in both established polypropylene applications and new market segments. Due to their unique balance of properties, metallocene polypropylenes will consolidate and broaden their presence in high performance applications.

Metallocenes are stable metal-organic compounds. Due to their defined structure, these single-site catalysts are able to polymerize olefins to well defined and uniform polymers. Using such high performance catalysts in the production of polypropylene, resultant polymer properties like transparency, stiffness or toughness can be adjusted by redesigning the molecular structure of the used metallocene compound.

Tore Land, CEO of Celanese Ventures, congratulated Jörg Schottek and his team on their success: “The development contract goes to show that our expertise in developing tailor-made metallocene catalyst precursors and co-catalysts is highly respected by our customers.”

Andreas Winter, responsible for new technologies at Novolen, points out that the access to the expertise of both partners’ research and development programs guarantees that the benefits of the latest developments in products and technology are brought to Novolen Technology Holdings' clients.

Celanese AG is a global chemicals company with leading positions in its key products and world class process technology. The Celanese portfolio consists of five main businesses: Acetyl Products, Intermediates, Acetate Products, Technical Polymers Ticona and Performance Products. The Performance Products business consists of oriented polypropylene films (OPP), sweeteners and food ingredients. The subsidiary Celanese Ventures develops new technologies beyond the current business portfolio. Celanese generated sales of around € 5.1 billion in 2001 and has about 11,800 employees. The company has 30 production plants and five research centers in 11 countries -- mainly in North America, Europe and Asia. Celanese AG shares are listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange (stock exchange symbol CZZ) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol CZ).

Novolen Technology Holdings C.V., a joint venture of ABB and Equistar, is a leading polypropylene technology provider. It has licensed its proprietary Novolen® gas-phase process to clients worldwide; the total licensed capacity being about 4.7 million tons. Novolen Technology Holdings provides services and support to continuously improve the operations and products of licensees. The transfer of all the latest improvements in these areas ensures that the licensees remain at the forefront of their business.

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