Second Methanex plant for Geismar noted

Methanex, the world’s largest supplier of methanol, will probably move a second plant from Chile to Geismar, according to Fitch Ratings.

Fitch’s statement is part of a news release assigning a BBB- rating to Methanex’s debt. The rating means Vancouver-based Methanex’s $967 million in debt is considered an acceptable risk.

Fitch also said Methanex expects to spend around $500 million to relocate one plant and roughly $1 billion to move both plants to Louisiana.

Fitch’s news release is the second public mention of another Methanex project in Geismar. During a Sept. 26 speech to the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, Louisiana Chemical Association President Dan BornĂ© said Methanex was considering a second Geismar facility.

According to Fitch, Methanex’s Chilean plants have operated well below capacity for a number of years because natural gas imports from Argentina have been disrupted.

Last month, Methanex announced it had gotten the state and federal air permits needed for a 1 million-ton ethanol plant in Geismar.

Vancouver-based Methanex Corp. has been granted the state and federal air permits needed to construct and operate its 1 million-ton methanol project in Geismar. Methanex had said it expects to be in production by the end of 2014. The new plant will create 130 new jobs, with an average salary of $56,250, plus benefits.

Methanol can be found in everything from windshield washer fluid to recyclable plastic bottles, plywood floors, paint, silicone sealants and synthetic fibers. Methanol, a clean-burning alternative fuel, also is increasingly used in the energy sector, including direct gasoline blending, dimethyl ether and biodiesel.