Commercial production at Methanex’s Geismar 3 in Louisiana delayed until late Q3

Eashani Chavda

20-Feb-2024

LONDON (ICIS)–Commercial production at Methanex’s newly constructed 1.8 million tonne/year methanol plant, Geismar 3, has been delayed, potentially until the end of Q3, the Canadian producer announced.

During the plant’s initial start-up, there were complications with the unit’s autothermal reformer (ATR).

In a press release, Methanex said that following inspections, there was significant damage to a large number of supporting refractory bricks in the ATR which needed replacing.

It is estimated that the total capital cost will not significantly exceed the upper end of the capital cost guidance of $1.30bn.

Gesimar 3 is located in Louisiana and was originally scheduled to start up in Q4 2023.

In Methanex’s Q4 earnings report last month, it said the plant was in the process of starting up and was expected to reach full rates in February.

The producer said, “Based on the preliminary findings of its root cause analysis, management believes that this issue relates to complications in the initial start-up process and is not a plant design or construction issue.”

Methanol is primarily used to produce formaldehyde, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and acetic acid. Smaller amounts go into production of dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), methyl methacrylate (MMA), chloromethanes, methylamines, glycol methyl ethers, and fuels applications such dimethyl ether (DME), biodiesel and the direct blending into gasoline.

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