EMethanex’s Egypt methanol unit may start by early next year

15 November 2010 09:25  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--EMethanex’s 1.3m tonne/year methanol plant at Damietta on the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt could start commercial production by early next year, a company source said on Monday.

The production hub would primarily supply European and Asian methanol markets, the source said.

EMethanex (Egyptian Methanex Methanol Company) is the Egyptian joint venture operation of Methanex Corporation, which holds a 60% interest.

The Egyptian government partners - Egyptian Petrochemical Holding Company (ECHEM) and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) - each hold 12%, while the Egyptian National Gas Company (GASCO) holds 9% and the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP)  7%.

In a webcast released last week, the company said commissioning was underway at the plant.

ECHEM and Methanex were also exploring the development of a new project in Egypt for the production of dimethyl ether (DME) from methanol.

The DME production facility was expected to be located in Alexandria and would have a production capacity of around 200,000 tonnes/year, which would consume approximately 300,000 tonnes/year of methanol.

In the same webcast, the company said that front-end engineering and design was complete and it expected the final investment decision to be made in the first quarter of next year.

The goal of this project was to produce DME to be blended with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to produce a substitute fuel as a partial replacement to pure LPG, reducing Egypt’s reliance on imported LPG, the source said.

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By: Heng Hui
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