Methanex approves second plant relocation from Chile to US

Methanex has reached a final investment decision to proceed with the relocation of a second 1 million tpy methanol plant from its Chile site to Geismar, Louisiana, the company announced on Thursday.

The plant is expected to be operational by early 2016, and has an estimated total cost of approximately $550 million.

"We are excited to move forward with the Geismar II project," said John Floren, CEO of Methanex.

"We have made excellent progress with our first plant relocation, Geismar I, and that project is proceeding on schedule and on budget. The first shipment of equipment has been loaded and is currently in transit to Louisiana. Methanex will leverage its experience gained from Geismar I to ensure a smooth execution for Geismar II."

The Geismar I project was given final approval in early 2012, and is expected to start up in the second half of 2014, according to company officials.

"The global demand outlook for methanol is very favorable and demand is expected to outpace capacity additions in the industry over the next several years," Mr. Floren said. 

"Relocating a second plant to Louisiana allows us to benefit quickly from the competitive natural gas price environment in North America and add additional molecules to our system to supply our customer's growing requirements for methanol," he added.

"The two Geismar projects, combined with our other growth initiatives in New Zealand and Medicine Hat, represent 3 million tons of additional operating capacity."

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