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Methanex Invests $550 Million On Louisiana Methanol Plant

07/26/2012
The world's largest supplier of methanol, Canadian-based Methanex, will invest $550 million to relocate a methanol production plant from Chile to a 225-acre site in Geismar, Louisiana, creating 130 new jobs and almost 1,000 indirect jobs.

Methanol is increasingly used as a clean-burning alternative fuel in the energy sector, including direct gasoline blending, dimethyl ether and biodiesel. According to Louisiana Economic Development, rising demand for methanol, along with Louisiana's competitive natural gas prices, positive business climate and chemical industry infrastructure, combined to attract the project to Ascension Parish.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "this is a great announcement for Ascension Parish and our entire state. Methanex looked at multiple states for this new production facility before narrowing their decision to Louisiana. Ultimately, Methanex chose Louisiana because of our world-class infrastructure for the chemical and energy industries, and our state's strong business climate. Methanex's decision to build in Louisiana is part of the renaissance that our energy and chemical industries are experiencing today."

In addition to ready supplies of natural gas, Ascension Parish provides easy access to barge, rail and interstate highway transportation, economic development officials said.

"The outlook for low North American natural gas prices makes Louisiana an attractive location in which to produce methanol," said President and CEO Bruce Aitken of Methanex. "It is also a large methanol-consuming region, possesses world-class infrastructure and skilled workers, and is a positive environment in which to do business." Methanex expects to break ground on the project in September 2012. Construction is set for completion in late 2014.

As an incentive, Louisiana Economic Development provided Methanex performance-based grants of $3.8 million to offset infrastructure costs related to the project and $1.5 million to reimburse relocation expenses. In addition, Methanex will gain the services of LED FastStart, Louisiana's state workforce development program. The company also is expected to utilize the state's Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.

Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp said, "The Baton Rouge Area Chamber, in partnership with Ascension Economic Development Corporation, worked diligently to recruit Methanex. As part of our international development efforts, BRAC has been working to bring new foreign direct investment to the Capital Region. The relocation by this Canadian company signals the attractiveness of U.S. investment and is a testament to the mutual efforts of all involved."
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