Methanex to restart Atlas methanol unit in Trinidad in mid-Feb

26 January 2012 21:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Methanex’s Atlas methanol plant in Trinidad should be operating by mid-February, the company’s chief executive said on Thursday.

The 1.7m tonne/year plant began a turnaround on 6 January to fix an equipment failure that occurred last July. The turnaround originally was described as lasting 37 days, but CEO Bruce Aitken said in a conference call on Thursday that it would last 40 days.

Canada-based Methanex owns 63.1% of the Atlas plant, and BP owns 36.9%. BP said in late September that it wanted to sell its share of the plant. Analysts have estimated BP’s share to be worth anywhere from $125m175m (€95m–133m).

Most market observers, including Aitken, say Methanex is the logical buyer.

“We’ve always said that we would be keen to buy that asset,” Aitken said. He added that BP has set a number of deadlines for selling its share, the latest one being the end of January. Aitken said Methanex is just waiting to hear about its offer from BP.

“We know what the fair value is,” Aitken said, though he did not say what Methanex had bid for the plant. “We’re not prepared to pay a cent more than that.”

($1 = €0.76)

For more on methanol, visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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