ECF 2016 to highlight resurgence of US methanol production

The US is in the midst of one of the largest industry expansions to ever occur in North America. Cheap, readily available shale oil and gas is sparking a surge in the construction of new gas processing, LNG export terminals, petrochemical and refining capacity.

Total announced capital investments in capacity expansions, upgrades, plant restarts and greenfield facilities have eclipsed $135 B. Over 60% of this investment is being made by foreign firms. New capacity includes a sharp increase in the construction of ethane cracking and derivatives capacity, fertilizer (ammonia/urea) plants, PDH units, etc. According to the American Chemistry Council, gross exports of US chemical products will more than double from $60 B in 2014 to $123 B by 2030. Billions of dollars will be invested in the construction of pipelines, storage, terminals and export capacity through the end of the decade. The majority of these products will head to Asia, Europe and Latin America.

The shale gas boom has also propelled methanol production to the forefront of the US petrochemical sector. Cheap natural gas feedstock has spurred a boom in methanol plant construction, expansions, restarts and even relocations from other regions around the globe. However, the US methanol outlook was reversed in the early years of the new millennium, when spiking domestic natural gas prices shrunk the US methanol industry substantially. By the early 2000s, the number of operating US methanol plants had shrunk from 18 to 10. Domestic methanol processing capacity dwindled from over 7 MMtpy to well under 3 MMtpy. This made the US more dependent on imports from countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea and Canada. By the end of 2013, US methanol imports had climbed to 5.5 MMtpy.

Within the next three years, however, US imports of methanol are not only expected to cease, but the US is also expected to become a net exporter of this sought-after chemical. From 2015-2019, the US plans to add nearly 17 MMtpy of new methanol capacity. Total new methanol capacity could reach over 25 MMtpy by 2020 should all projects be completed. If these projects are built, total capital expenditures could reach over $15 B by 2021.

Company

Location

Capacity

Cost, US$ MM

Completion date

Methanex—Geismar I

Geismar, LA

1 MMtpy

550

Completed 2015

Methanex—Geismar II

Geismar, LA

1 MMtpy

550

Completed 2016

Valero

Norco, LA

1.6 MMtpy

700

2018

OCI (Natgasoline)

Beaumont, TX

1.75 MMtpy

1,000

4Q 2016

NWIW—Port of Kalama

Port of Kalama, WA

1.825 MMtpy

1,000

2018

NWIW—Port Westward

Port Westward, OR

1.825 MMtpy

1,000

2018

South Louisiana Methanol

St. James Parish, LA

1.825 MMtpy

1,300

2Q 2017

Celanese/Mitsui

Clear Lake, TX

1.3 MMtpy

800

Completed 4Q 2015

Celanese

Bishop, TX

1.3 MMtpy

700-800

2018

CCI

Braithwaite, LA

1.825 MMtpy

1,200

2019

Yuhuang Chemical (Plant 1)

St. James Parish, LA

1.5 MMtpy

925

2018

Yuhuang Chemical (Plant 2)

St. James Parish, LA

1.5 MMtpy

925

2020

Connell Group-Chemical Inv. Corp. JV

Shoal Point, TX

7.2 MMtpy

4,500

2020

Active US methanol projects. Source: Hydrocarbon Processing Construction Boxscore Database.


This new era of US
construction is the primary theme in the upcoming Energy Construction Forum. The conference provides a unique and timely gathering covering all phases of major expansions and new construction projects with a focus on the challenges and solutions facing the industry today. For more information on this event, please visit the Energy Construction Forum site today!

Related Events
Energy Construction Forum – March 1-2, 2016 in Galveston, Texas


From the Archive

Comments

Comments

{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}