Methanex: Geismar methanol plant projects on track

Methanex Corp. said the relocation of two methanol plants from Chile to Geismar remains on track, with the first plant expected to begin operating by the end of 2014 and the second by early 2016.

The Geismar update was included in the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company’s third-quarter earnings report.

Methanex said it spent $67 million on the Geismar projects during the third quarter and will spend an estimated $780 million to complete the plant relocations.

The company said it has also begun building a manufacturing organization in Geismar and spent $3 million to do so during the three months ending Sept. 30. The company expects to spend around $25 million more to complete its organizational build-up. Methanex is already taking applications for jobs at the plants.

On Oct. 23, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC announced it would supply power to both plants under a long-term contract.

The plants will each be capable of producing 1.1 million tons of methanol a year. 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.