West Virginia Methanol Inc. has selected a site to develop a $350 million-dollar methanol plant in Pleasants County, West Virginia. The project is expected to create approximately 30 high-paying jobs.
According to Governor Jim Justice, the plant is designed to produce 900 metric tons of high-purity methanol from natural gas each day. West Virginia Methanol is currently working on permitting and final design details for the site and expects to make a final investment decision in the first half of 2021 with operations expected to commence as early as mid-2023.
Lars Scott, Executive Vice President, West Virginia Methanol said “It has been a long process for us in selecting the ideal site for our flagship project, which we plan to be the first of many across the state, the region, and the world. “Pleasants County already feels like home to us and we look forward to working with everyone to bring this project through construction and into operation.”
“Today’s announcement just goes to show that West Virginia is a great place to do business and one of the most business-friendly states in the whole country,” Governor Justice said. “You’re seeing businesses leaving other states left and right, but West Virginia’s economy continues to grow.
"We have an incredible manufacturing base and a great workforce training program that’s going to produce a lot of good for our beautiful state,” Governor Justice added. “I want to thank West Virginia Methanol for coming up with this plan to bring high-paying jobs to Pleasants County and for making a commitment to be an outstanding addition to our petrochemical and energy industries.”
The former industrial plant site, has road, rail, and river transportation access, is near a major natural gas pipeline, and has all other required utilities on-site or nearby, making it an ideal location for methanol production, state officials noted. The site is also conveniently located for regional methanol customers who currently transport methanol from the U.S. Gulf Coast or from other countries.
“We are delighted by West Virginia Methanol’s planned project within our mid-Ohio valley region,” said West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Austin Caperton. “Methanol is an important component for numerous industrial products. Further, it is a vital feedstock for many of the chemical companies throughout West Virginia and the tri-state region. As the Chair of the Governor’s Downstream Jobs Task Force, I’m proud that we’ll be retaining more natural gas within the state and converting it to valuable product, employing great West Virginia workers in the process.”
“The Pleasants County Development Authority is proud to have played a role in the arrival of such a substantial project,” said Diane Braun, executive director of the Pleasants County Development Authority. Pleasants County has a rich history, centered in the growth of the chemical industry. That history has spawned a well-trained and reliable workforce here. We are especially pleased to welcome West Virginia Methanol to our commercial community. It is exciting to be part of an enduring partnership that can amplify our joint commitment to the manufacturing sector.”