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MHTL to construct methanol-to-gas plant

Published: 
Monday, December 22, 2014

Point Lisas-based Methanol Holdings Trinidad Ltd (MHTL) and G2X Energy, Inc  have confirmed in a joint statement late Thursday  that they will “construct the world-scale methanol-to-gasoline MTG-ready, methanol production facility being developed by G2X Energy in Lake Charles, Louisiana.”

The Big Lake Fuels LLC facility will produce 1.4 million metric tonnes of commercial-grade methanol per year and will have the necessary facilities to convert methanol to automotive gasoline in the future. As part of MHTL’s potential investment into G2X Energy and the Big Lake Fuels plant, the company will enter into negotiations for an exclusive offtake agreement to market the entire production of methanol from Big Lake Fuels’ first methanol plant. 

“We look forward to partnering with MHTL and its owners Proman Holding AG and Helm AG in the construction, operation and marketing of the Big Lake Fuels plant. MHTL is a recognised leader in the production and sale of methanol worldwide. 

“Coupling MHTL’s significant presence in the existing methanol markets and their marketing, construction and operational expertise with G2X Energy’s proven experience in the US natural gas market and US development and financial markets will ensure successful execution of the project and long-term production of low cost methanol,” said G2X Energy President and CEO Tim Vail. “The Big Lake Fuels plant will initially produce methanol, and methanol-to-gasoline production will be an option in the future.”

MHTL CEO Dennis Patrick said: “MHTL has been serving the US market for over three decades and we, our shareholders Proman and Helm and our marketing partner Southern Chemical Corp are very excited to announce our intention to partner with G2X Energy in this project. This strengthens our existing leadership position and gives us a competitive advantage in the growing US methanol market.”

The plant will be located on a 200-acre site on the Calcasieu Industrial Canal off of the main Calcasieu Ship Channel. The site is ideally located adjacent to multiple large natural gas pipelines and industrial electricity connectivity, and affords the option to ship methanol via barge or oceangoing vessel. The site has the capability to support multiple production process trains and has been secured from the Port of Lake Charles under a long-term lease agreement.

Bill Rase, executive director of the Port of Lake Charles, views the G2X/MHTL partnership as another significant milestone in the development of the Big Lake Fuels project. 

“G2X has worked very well with the Port and the Lake Charles community over the last couple of years. We are very optimistic that this partnership will further strengthen the project and benefit the Lake Charles area for years to come. We are very pleased to welcome MHTL to Lake Charles and Louisiana and look forward to supporting the project going forward,” he said.

The facility will be constructed by the Proman Group under a fixed price engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. “Proman, based in Wollerau, Switzerland, has extensive experience building methanol production facilities,” the statement said. “The company has built five world-scale plants in Trinidad and Oman similar in design to the Big Lake Fuels plant. The plant will utilize steam reforming and methanol synthesis technologies from Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies Limited. 

“The plant received its air and construction permit from the state of Louisiana on May 25. Construction is expected to begin in early 2015, after the project obtains the remaining permits and completes initial engineering.”

G2X Energy anticipates the project will create more than 2,000 construction jobs in the US during the three-year construction period. Once the methanol plant is operational, there will be more than 125 full-time operations personnel at the plant, with that number expected to grow when MTG and methanol plant expansions are complete.

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