LyondellBasell Texas methanol plant restart is 90% complete: CEO

29 October 2013 17:24 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell’s restart of its Texas methanol plant is 90% complete and will occur by year’s end, the CEO of the global major said on Tuesday.

“We’re literally getting ready to start it up soon,” said Jim Gallogly, who made his comments during the company’s Q3 earnings call.

The 780,000 tonne/year plant in Channelview should be running at full capacity by the end of the first quarter of 2014, Gallogly said.

LyondellBasell shut down the plant in 2003 because of then-high natural gas prices. Thanks to the shale gas revolution, US natural gas prices are well below $4/MMbtu and have made methanol production a profitable venture again for the plant.

Gallogly said he recently visited the Channelview site and said operators there have already identified some low-cost ways to debottleneck it once up and running to future maximise production.

“Going forward, we are going to keep an open mind toward more methanol,” the CEO said.

By Jeremy Pafford