GEISMAR, La. -- Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the selection of Ascension Parish by Canada-based Methanex Corp. as the site for a potential methanol production facility in Louisiana. The project would entail relocating one of the company's idle methanol plants from Chile to Louisiana and would create significant job opportunities at a 200-acre site secured by the company in Geismar. Methanex expects to make a final investment decision in the third quarter this year, and the plant could begin operating in the second half of 2014.
Governor Jindal said, “Methanex’s selection of Louisiana shows that our state has a strong business climate and energy infrastructure. All across Louisiana, companies like Schlumberger, Sundrop Fuels, Halliburton, Cheniere Energy, Sasol and others are placing key investments for the future of their companies in our state. With a competitive and rapidly improving business climate combined with the benefits of low, stable natural gas prices, Louisiana is poised for a renaissance in its energy and chemical industries. That means more high-paying jobs for our citizens, as we work to make Louisiana the best place in the world to raise a family and start a career.”
Methanex is the world's largest supplier of methanol to major international markets. The Geismar site would primarily serve U.S. markets, where methanol usage ranges from traditional applications, including windshield washer fluids and building materials to clean-burning energy applications, such as biodiesel. Approximately one-third of global methanol demand comes from transportation fuels and energy uses.
"The outlook for low North American natural gas prices makes Louisiana an attractive location in which to produce methanol," said Methanex President and CEO Bruce Aitken. "It is also a large methanol-consuming region, possesses world-class infrastructure, skilled workers and is a positive environment in which to do business. This project represents a unique opportunity in the industry to add capacity at a lower capital cost and in about half the time of a new greenfield methanol plant. And the timing of this project is excellent. There is strong demand growth for methanol globally and there is little new production capacity being added to the industry over the next several years."
Louisiana Economic Development began working with Methanex to secure the project six months ago. A competitive incentive package will be completed in conjunction with a final announcement by the company. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber and the Ascension Economic Development Corp. assisted LED in winning the site selection.
After a multistate site selection analysis, Methanex selected Louisiana because of its strong workforce, LED FastStart® training program, competitive incentives and expedited permitting programs. Methanex selected the Geismar site on La. Highway 73 for a variety of reasons, including its resource strengths, access to natural gas, hydrogen and oxygen supplies and proximity to barge, rail and interstate highway traffic.
"We are delighted that Methanex has selected our parish as the location for this impressive project," Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez said. "This project further diversifies our manufacturing base and is the result of a team effort between parish government, the Ascension Economic Development Corp., LED and other agencies."
"The recruitment of Methanex to the Baton Rouge area will further strengthen our position as a center for multinational activity," said Adam Knapp, CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. "We're excited to have this innovative firm join our current stable of great multinational companies. Their new facility also emphasizes the need for BRAC's upcoming talent development program, as we will have to continue to retain and attract great engineers to work at these facilities. We would also like to thank the governor, LED, AEDC and Ascension Parish leadership for helping up make this project a reality."
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Methanex is a publicly traded company and the world's largest supplier of methanol to major international markets. Methanex shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada under the trading symbol "MX"; on the Nasdaq Global Market in the U.S. under the trading symbol "MEOH"; and on the Foreign Securities Market of the Santiago Stock Exchange in Chile under the trading symbol "Methanex." Visit www.methanex.com to learn more.