US firm gets permits for Lousiana natgas-to-gasoline project

05 June 2014 21:08 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--G2X Energy has received state and federal permits to build and operate a natural gas-to-gasoline plant in Louisiana, the Houston-based company said on Thursday.

First announced in January 2013, the project will convert natural gas into 12,500 bls/day of zero-sulphur gasoline and/or commercial-grade methanol at a plant in Lake Charles, according to a release.

The original announcement said the plant would cost $1.3bn and be finished by early 2017.

G2X's chief executive, Tim Vail, said the plant at the port of Lake Charles would be the first commercial scale natural-gas-to-gasoline plant in the US.

The project is among at least a dozen methanol plant projects that have been announced in the past two years to capitalise on abundant shale gas reserves in the US.

Another project in the same state, by South Louisiana Methanol, received permitting earlier this year.

A 1.4m tonne/year methanol project being built in a joint venture by Celanese and Mitsui in Clear Lake near Houston also received permitting earlier this year.

Vail said G2X will use commercially proven processes in the methanol production and the methanol-to-gasoline conversion, which together will produce marketable methanol and gasoline.

When first announced, G2X said it would use ExxonMobil Research and Engineering's methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) technology.

The company is partnering with Southern Chemical, the marketing arm of Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL), which has five plants in Trinidad, and the Proman Group, a global engineering, procurement and contracting firm.

G2X broke ground early in 2013 on a $60m methanol plant in Pampa in the Texas panhandle with a planned capacity of 65,000 tonnes/year, targeted at the north Texas and Oklahoma market.

By Lane Kelley