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Canadian-based Methanex Corp. Relocates Second Methanol Plant From Chile To Louisiana

Area Development Online News Desk (04/25/2013)
Canadian-based Methanex Corp. will relocate a second methanol plant from Chile to a 225-acre site in Geismar, Louisiana. In July 2012, the firm announced it was moving a separate plant from Chile to the Ascension Parish site.

Methanex is the world’s largest supplier of methanol—a clear, biodegradable ingredient found in everything from windshield washer fluid to recyclable plastic bottles, plywood floors, paint, silicone sealants and synthetic fibers. Also a clean-burning fuel, methanol is increasingly used in the energy sector for blending in gasoline and other fuels.

As a result of the first relocation, Methanex is creating 130 new direct jobs, and the project will result in an additional 996 new indirect jobs in the area. The latest Methanex plant relocation will include a $550 million capital investment and create 35 new direct jobs. LED estimates the project will result in another 207 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 240 new jobs.

Combined, Methanex will be making a $1.1 billion investment in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, creating 165 new direct jobs and resulting in an estimated 1,203 new indirect jobs. Additionally, construction of the two facilities will result in approximately 2,500 construction jobs.

“Methanex is proud to announce this second relocation to Geismar,” Methanex Corp. CEO John Floren said. “The project is expected to create significant value for our shareholders. It also allows us to capitalize on the competitive natural gas price environment in North America, and offers significant cost and schedule savings compared to a greenfield project.”

Governor Bobby Jindal said, “Methanex’s decision to build a second plant in Louisiana is a continuation of the renaissance that our energy and chemical industries are experiencing every day. Our world-class workforce and our strong business climate—coupled with the rising demand for methanol and Louisiana’s competitive natural gas prices—are what led Methanex to choose Louisiana. Nowhere else will you find greater workers or a more impressive energy infrastructure than right here in our state. We’re proud that Methanex joins a long list of companies that are expanding here and taking advantage of Louisiana’s rapidly improving business climate.”

Louisiana’s competitive natural gas prices, strong business climate and workforce, and chemical industry infrastructure helped attract the projects to Ascension Parish, the Governor’s Office said. In addition to natural gas, ready supplies of hydrogen, oxygen and other industrial gases exist in Ascension Parish, along with easy access to barge, rail and interstate highway transportation that were all advantageous assets to the company.

As an incentive secure the project, LED offered Methanex a $1.2 million performance-based grant for site infrastructure improvements, along with the services of LED FastStart, the state’s workforce development program. In addition, Methanex is expected to utilize the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.

“It’s unprecedented to have a company announce two $500-plus million projects in our parish within the same 12-month period and we are thankful for Methanex’s further expansion,” Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said.

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