Lake Charles Methanol to build US$3.2 billion Manufacturing plant in Louisiana

Lake Charles Methanol to build US$3.2 billion Manufacturing plant in Louisiana

Houston-based clean energy firm Lake Charles Methanol is planning to build a US$3.24 billion chemical manufacturing facility at the Port of Lake Charles, Louisiana, the state’s economic development agency announced recently. The upcoming facility will produce 3.6 million tonnes of low-carbon or renewable methanol, as well as other chemicals. The company plans to use advanced auto thermal gas reforming technology and employ carbon capture and secure geologic storage to produce low-carbon hydrogen for conversion to methanol.

The plant is expected to create 728 jobs in the surrounding region, including 123 direct positions. A final investment and construction start date is expected in mid-2024, with production slated to begin in late 2027.

Lake Charles plans to work with a third party to capture and sequester about 1 million tonnes/year of carbon dioxide, but did not specify the partner it plans to work with.

Methanol is used to produce various products and materials, including plastics, coatings, automotive electronics, foam materials, inks, paint, adhesives, caulk and rubber tyres.

The Lake Charles project is part of the chemical maker’s strategy to produce low-carbon methanol, dubbed “blue methanol” that leverages clean hydrogen and carbon capture processes to avoid the release of greenhouse gases.

“The project will deliver substantial tangible economic benefits to local communities while providing an environmentally beneficial blue methanol product to facilitate the transition to low-carbon chemicals and fuels,” LCM President and CEO Donald Maley said in a statement.

In addition to upcoming manufacturing positions, the project is expected to create up to 2,300 construction jobs.

The project is currently undergoing a FEED study and regulatory permitting. A final investment decision and start of construction are expected in mid-2024. Construction and commissioning of the facility are expected to take about three-and-a-half years, which would allow commercial operations to begin in late 2027.