MHTL set to begin construction on second AUM complex in 2014

28 February 2013 22:10  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)—Methanol Holdings Trinidad Limited (MHTL) announced on Thursday that construction on a second ammonia-urea-melamine (AUM II) complex at Point Lisas Industrial Estate in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2014.

Company officials said the project, which will be comprised of nine separate plants, has a value of $2bn and is anticipated to produce 3,300 tonnes per day of ammonia upon completion in 2017. MHTL has said the ammonia output will be converted into several by products which include urea, ammonium sulphate and melamine.

Chief Executive Rampersad Motilal said the company has been issued the necessary environmental permits to begin preparing the site and is assuring residents that caution will be taken during construction in regards to public safety and the well being of the local environment. MHTL said that waste water and gases will be properly treated and that spent catalysts used in production will be exported for recycling purposes.

The company said during a public consultation meeting that AUM II will use natural gas as its feedstock following a similar course as their first AUM complex, which started operations in 2010. Last year, MHTL had announced that it had acquired a 20 year gas supply contract with the state-owned National Gas Company (NGC) which would deliver 100m cubic feet per day to the new project.

Gas supply issues have been a source of aggravation for fertilizer producers across the island nation over the last two years as mandated curtailments have caused a decline in production of ammonia and other products as the NGC have imposed reductions as high as 20%. These cutbacks have been blamed on the need for repair and upgrading work on the production platforms.

Producer sources recently told ICIS that the situation has improved slightly and that operations are back at a 10% reduction in gas, but additional curtailments are likely possible, especially later in 2013 when another round of platform work has been forecasted.   

One of the primary methanol producers in the world, MHTL has a total capacity of more than 4m tonnes annually, which is produced from five plants, and is the largest supplier to markets in North America as well as a significant source for Europe.

By: Mark Milam
+1 713 525 2653

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