Louisiana in the midst of methanol investment surge

Methanex in Geismar is a major producer of methanol (Courtesy Methanex)

There has been enough projected long-term demand growth in the methanol market to fuel a surge in U.S. capital investment, despite a reduction in the number of planned MTO plants in China over the last three years, reports 10/12 Industry Report.

A significant price differential in natural gas between the U.S. and Europe is a big reason. “Natural gas is just so much cheaper here,” says economist Loren Scott with Loren C. Scott & Associates in Baton Rouge. “There have been some huge investment announcements … this price differential should kick that all into high gear.”

The growing interest in methanol as a marine fuel is also generating a lot of buzz. Trey Hamblet, vice president of chemicals research for Industrial Info Resources, or IIR, in Sugar Land, Texas, says marine applications will likely become a catalyst for growth in the years ahead.

Methanex, with one of its largest plants in Geismar, has already played a significant role in promoting methanol to the maritime industry. Read the entire story in 10/12 Industry report.