Port of Tacoma approves lease for $1.8bn methanol plant

02 May 2014 18:07 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The Port of Tacoma Commission in Washington this week approved a lease for a Chinese-British joint venture that plans to build a $1.8bn methanol plant there, according to port information obtained on Friday.

The joint venture, Northwest Innovation Works, backed by a Chinese government agency and BP, also plans to build two other $1bn methanol plants in the US northwest, on opposite sides of the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon.

As with the other planned projects, the methanol made in Tacoma would be exported to China to supply the Dalian Xishong Island Petrochemical Park in China, which would convert the methanol to olefins that would be used to make plastics and rubber.

"We're not selling our methanol to the open market," Joe Smith, president of Northwest Innovation Works, told the Tacoma commission.

The scheduled target date to have the plant up and running is early 2019, according to port documents.

By Lane Kelley