Mothballed US LyondellBasell methanol plant up for sale - sources

06 October 2011 22:56  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Dutch company LyondellBasell wants to sell a mothballed methanol plant in Texas, sources said on Thursday.

Methanol sources said the company is actively marketing the former 750,000 tonne/year methanol unit in Channelview. A spokesman for LyondellBasell would not comment.

Channelview is eight miles east of downtown Houston.

LyondellBasell closed the methanol unit in March 2003 because of the then-high cost of natural gas, the main feedstock for North American methanol producers.

Natural gas prices in early 2003 rose above $7/MMBtu and by the end of 2005 had jumped above $15/MMBtu, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

But natural gas prices have dropped considerably in the US and Canada since then, closing on Thursday at $3.59/MMBtu.

Lower natural gas prices in North America have prompted the restart of at least two North American plants at a fraction of the cost of building new units.

Methanex reopened a mothballed methanol plant in Medicine Hat, Alberta, earlier this year at a cost of $40m (€30m).

By comparison, a methanol plant in Damietta, Egypt, which is 60% owned by Methanex, cost over $800m to build.

Another closed plant, in Beaumont, Texas, was purchased in May by a joint venture between Egypt-based OCI Nitrogen and methanol operator Deo Van Wijk’s Pandora Methanol, for $65m.

($1 = €0.75)

For more on methanol, visit ICIS chemical intelligence


By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653



AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

ICIS news FREE TRIAL
Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index