Issue Date: January 23, 2012
Methanex Will Move Methanol Unit To U.S.
Enticed by cheap natural gas from shale, Methanex plans to relocate a methanol plant from Chile to Geismar, La. The company has begun engineering work and has already secured land for the project, which it expects to complete in the second half of 2014. “This project represents a unique opportunity in the industry to add capacity at a lower capital cost and in about half the time of a new greenfield methanol plant,” CEO Bruce Aitken says. Methanex’ four units in Chile have combined methanol capacity of 3.8 million metric tons per year, but restrictions on exports of natural gas from Argentina have restricted their output. Separately, Methanex has inked an agreement with New Zealand’s Todd Energy that will allow the firm to restart an idle methanol plant in that country, where it also has faced natural gas supply issues.
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