Methanex closes Cairo office, evacuates international staff

01 February 2011 04:36  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Methanex has temporarily closed its office in Cairo, Egypt, and it has decided to evacuate international staff and their families, the Vancouver-based methanol major said on Tuesday.

Methanex CEO Bruce Aitken said the move was prompted by safety and security concerns due to Egypt’s civil unrest.

Commissioning activities at the company’s new 1.3m tonne/year joint venture EMethanex methanol plant at Damietta had been curtailed and the site was currently staffed at “minimal levels," Aitken said.

“Over the next few days we will be developing plans to re-initiate the commissioning and star-up of the plant as and when conditions allow,” he added.

According to a report earlier this month, Methanex was expected to start shipping methanol from EMethanex before the end of the first quarter.

Meanwhile, shipping activities along the Suez Canal were operating normally despite the political protests in Cairo, shipping agents said on Tuesday.

For more on Methanex and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence
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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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