22 December 2011 19:38 [Source: ICIS news]
The plant in Beaumont began producing ammonia earlier this month, said Jim Rich, president of the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce.
The facility’s owner, Egypt-based Orascom Construction Industries, said earlier this year that ammonia production at the plant will reach 250,000 tonnes/year and methanol 750,000 tonnes.
Calls to the plant and Orascom were not returned in time for publication. Orascom said in a late November release that ammonia production was restarting within a week.
When methanol production restarts in the first quarter of 2012, the Texas unit will be one of two North American methanol plants to be restarted within a year. Methanex restarted a methanol plant in Medicine Hat, Alberta, in April 2011.
County commissioners in Beaumont voted unanimously earlier this week to approve a tax abatement measure for the ammonia/methanol plant, according to county documents.
In May, a group that included backers from Texas, Europe and Egypt bought the mothballed plant from Eastman Chemical, saying they would they would spend $65m (€50m) in acquisition and startup costs.
In November, Orascom Construction Industries said it had acquired full ownership of the plant. The company has been renamed OCI North America.
($1 = €0.77)
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