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Louisiana group plans to build largest methanol plant in North America

03.01.2013  | 

The $1.3 billion facility will convert 163,000 million British thermal units of natural gas into 5,000 tpd of methanol. The new plant is "emblematic of the reindustrialization of the US based on low-cost energy feedstocks in the form of natural gas," said Simmons & Co. International analyst Bill Herbert.



South Louisiana Methanol said Thursday it plans to spend more than $1 billion to build what it says is the largest methanol production plant in North America in St. James Parish, La.

The $1.3 billion facility will convert 163,000 million British thermal units of natural gas into 5,000 tpd of methanol.

Methanol is a chemical used in industrial and consumer goods, and is a key ingredient in formaldehyde. In its announcement, South Louisiana Methanol said the plant's output can be distributed as feedstock for Gulf Coast chemical producers or exported to foreign markets.

"The technical and capital efficiencies of our plant in St. James Parish will make us directly competitive with overseas plants," said Barry Williamson, CEO of South Louisiana Methanol.

"The conversion of natural gas to methanol offers natural gas producers an alternative avenue to LNG [liquefied natural gas], enabling the creation of products which are consumed at home on a long-term basis."

The new plant is "emblematic of the reindustrialization of the US based on low-cost energy feedstocks in the form of natural gas," said Simmons & Co. International analyst Bill Herbert. "We'll see more of this going forward in various permutations."

Construction on the plant is slated to begin later this year, with start-up planned for 2016.

South Louisiana Methanol is a joint venture between Zero Emission Energy Plant Ltd., based in Austin, Texas, and its financial backer, the Todd Corp., a private company in New Zealand

Dow Jones Newswires

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Dear Mr. B J Rao,

Your seem to be an expert in this field, I have a question for you -- who is the technology provider for this wonderful MIDREX tech?
I heard a lot about Holdor Topsoe, Sasal, UOP, etc. Which one do you recommend? Thanks.

Brian Tinsley

My client is in need of 100,000mt of methanol per month. if you can supply, please send me your best possible price. Please only real supplier, my client will send an agent to verify supplier. Please contact me at brian_t23223t@hotmail.com with prices and contact phone and skype

B J Rao

It is a very good project. CAPEX & OPEX are the key factors for viability of the project. For conversion of NG to syngas, MIDREX (USA) Stichometric reformer can be seriously considered. This reformer is more efficient when compare with Team-Methane reformer (SMR) or Auto-thermal reformer (ATR). There are >60 reformers operating world wide. H2:CO ratio is >1.65. Tail Gas from Methanol plant can be used as fuel as well as process gas.
I have operated this reformer for ~13 years. I am interested and You may consider me for this project

Bassey Rex

It will be brilliant idea but they have to maintain services and follow up. Cheers

Diana M.

I know the conversation went to Coal Syngas to Methanol through coal liquefaction or gasification, but I am reading they are using CH4 as feedstock not coal? The U-GAS® gasifier is one coal fluid-bed gasifier that has been commercialized in China and Finland.

In this article the plant will use steam reforming of the CH4 to generate CO:H2 syngas ratio of about 2 to produce methanol and then sell it or further process it themselves to commercial commercial-grade gasoline with zero sulfur level plus some LPG. I'd go further using ExxonMobil's Methanol to Gasoline process (1970s) or TIGAS ... with zero sulfur or as feedstock to other chemicals as aldehydes etc that can be sold to even pharmaceuticals....

Pablo Camargo

What company will doing the construction?? or this plant is the reinstallation of the Chile one ?? I am Process Chemical engineer and I am interested in this project

Sunil K Guliani

Like Hermann I am also interested to know which technology. I was involved with Indonesia's second 2000T/day Methanol plant at Bontang for many years. Lurgi's 5000T/day plant, Atlas, at Trinidad is doing very well.

Jaime Bárcena

What will be such new methanol consume in balance between with its new production production of 5000 TPD ...??

A process fast balance between CH4 to CH3OH show a process yield of 77% ...

The issuance do not mention which shall be the chemical process for like Techint or Davy, Lourgi technlogy

Gerard Janssen

Dit artikel geeft informatie over de omvang van deze Unit
en het product methanol
interresant is informtie over het proces
Gerard Janssen

W. Hermann peterscheck

Please advise wich technology is used.

I was in charge of constructing a methanol plant for Pertamina based on LURGI technology.

Therefore I am interested.
I am retired, so I have no connection to the previous client and employer anymore.

Thank you for the info

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