Methanol operator explains reasons for sale of Texas plant

06 December 2011 22:43  [Source: ICIS news]

(recasts headline, first paragraph)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Methanol operator Deo Van Wijk sold out early in restarting a plant in Texas because of sour relations with his Egyptian partner and because the deal was too lucrative to pass up, he said on Tuesday.

Sources close to the deal said the reason was friction between Van Wijk and Egypt-based Orascom Construction Industries (OCI). Van Wijk confirmed that there had been friction between the partners but said he would not elaborate.

Money was also a factor.

“It was a very good return on my investment,” Van Wijk said at the 2011 World Methanol Conference in San Diego, California.

Van Wijk’s Pandora Methanol bought a mothballed plant in Beaumont, Texas, earlier this year from Eastman Chemical.

When the deal closed in May, Pandora had added OCI as a partner. There were plans for the companies to invest $65m (€48.8m) in restarting the plant.

But in late November, as the plant neared the start date for ammonia production, Orascom bought out Pandora. Neither side specified the financial terms.

The plant has an expected ammonia capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year, and expected methanol capacity of 750,000 tonnes/year. It was scheduled to start up late this year or early 2012.

($1 = €0.75)

For more about methanol visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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