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Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries has formed a joint venture with Janus Methanol that gives Orascom control of an idle ammonia/methanol plant in Beaumont, Texas. Off-line since 2004, the plant can make 250,000 metric tons of ammonia and 750,000 metric tons of methanol per year. Janus agreed to purchase the site from Eastman Chemical earlier this year. Eastman, in turn, bought the plant from Terra Industries in 2007, intending it to be the centerpiece of a $1.6 billion project to make chemicals from petroleum coke. Orascom and Janus plan to spend $65 million to restart the plant this year.
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