Methanex to proceed with relocation of second Chile plant to US

25 April 2013 04:10  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Methanex will relocate its second 1m tonne/year methanol plant in Chile to the US, expecting the unit to be operational at its new site in Geismar, Louisiana, by early 2016, the Canadian producer said late on Wednesday.

The company will shell out about $550m (€424m) for the project called Geismar II, Methanex said in a statement.

It is currently in the process of relocating its first methanol plant with the same 1m tonne/year capacity – Geismar I – from the Latin American country to Louisiana.

“We have made excellent progress with our first plant relocation, Geismar I, and that project is proceeding on schedule and on budget. The first shipment of equipment has been loaded and is currently in transit to Louisiana,” Methanex CEO John Floren said in the statement.

Geismar I is expected to be operational late next year.

The Canadian firm decided to relocate its Chilean methanol plants – currently idle because of a shortage in feedstock natural gas – to the US in view of the shale gas boom in North America.

“Relocating a second plant to Louisiana allows us to benefit quickly from the competitive natural gas price environment in North America and add additional molecules to our system to supply our customer's growing requirements for methanol,” Floren said.

The Methanex executive said that global demand for methanol is expected to outpace capacity additions in the industry in the coming years.

“The two Geismar projects, combined with our other growth initiatives in New Zealand and Medicine Hat [in Canada], represent three million [3m] tonnes of additional operating capacity,” Floren said.

By: Pearl Bantillo
+65 6780 4359

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