Methanex plans to increase operating capacity in New Zealand by 700,000 tpy to 2.2 million tpy by the end of 2013, the company confirmed on Wednesday.
To accomplish this, Methanex secured a new natural gas supply agreement, thereby enabling the restart of the methanol plant at its Waitara Valley site by late in the third quarter. That will add 500,000 tpy of production.
In addition, Methanex will add capacity at the Motunui site by increasing distillation to add another 200,000 tpy, the company said. The estimated capital cost of the two projects is approximately $65 million.
"We are excited to announce another increase to our production in New Zealand, as a result of the improved natural gas supply position that continues to develop in the country," said John Floren, CEO of Methanex.
"With a modest capital expenditure we are adding 700,000 tonnes of additional production, which is expected to create significant value for shareholders," he continued. "This added production also enhances our reliable and quality supply capability to our customers in the fast-growing Asian markets.
"With the new natural gas supply agreement, combined with the other secured natural gas supply agreements, we now have arrangements in place to underpin production at our three-plant operation in New Zealand for years to come."