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Methanex Postpones Commencement of New Methanol Plant in Louisiana
Methanex Postpones Commencement of New Methanol Plant in Louisiana

Methanex Postpones Commencement of New Methanol Plant in Louisiana

  • 21-Feb-2024 2:52 PM
  • Journalist: Francis Stokes

Methanex Corporation, a leading player in the global methanol market and the world's largest methanol supplier, has encountered an unexpected hurdle in the start-up of its Geismar 3 (G3) methanol plant in Louisiana.

The setback stems from complications encountered in the autothermal reformer (ATR) during the late stages of the plant's initial start-up. In response to these challenges, Methanex deemed it necessary to implement a shutdown for safety inspections. The inspections, crucial for ensuring the plant's operational integrity, revealed substantial damage to the refractory bricks within the ATR. These specialized bricks play a vital role in the plant's functioning, and their damage has prompted the need for replacement. Unfortunately, the procurement of these specialty bricks is a time-consuming process, leading the company to estimate a potential deferral of commercial production until the end of the third quarter of 2024.

Methanex is actively exploring avenues to expedite the repair process, with a keen focus on minimizing delays and ensuring a safe and efficient start-up. Preliminary root cause analysis indicates that the start-up complications are likely isolated incidents rather than indicative of fundamental issues with the plant's design or construction. Despite the disappointment associated with this setback, Methanex's President and CEO, Rich Sumner, has reassured stakeholders of the company's unwavering commitment to a safe and quality start-up. He emphasized that safety remains the top priority, reflecting the company's dedication to maintaining the highest standards in its operations.

The delay in the Geismar 3 methanol plant's start-up is anticipated to impact the timeline for commercial production, but Methanex is actively working to mitigate the effects. While expressing disappointment at the unforeseen circumstances, the company remains optimistic about resolving the issues and proceeding with the plant's operations. Importantly, Methanex does not anticipate a significant deviation from the projected total capital cost, which is capped at an upper limit of $1.30 billion.

Methanex Corporation, with its headquarters in Vancouver, plays a pivotal role in the global methanol market by supplying methanol to various international markets. The update on the Geismar 3 methanol plant's delay is derived from a press release statement issued by Methanex Corporation. The company's commitment to transparency and prompt communication underscores its dedication to keeping stakeholders informed about developments, even when they involve unexpected challenges. As Methanex works diligently to address the issues and resume operations, industry observers will closely monitor the company's progress, recognizing the significance of Methanex's contributions to the global methanol market.

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