US Methanol CEO: Plant in Institute to open in late 2019
The company building a methanol production facility in Institute aims to start production in late 2019, according to its CEO, more than a year out from its originally anticipated mid-2018 start.
US Methanol CEO Frank Bakker said in an email that the company is “looking at quarter 4 of 2019 for making methanol” at its Liberty One plant, located at the Dow Chemical Facility.
Bakker said the reason for the delay is that the company needs to order a new compressor for the plant.
“That type of equipment has a lead time of a little over a year,” he said.
Other aspects of the plant’s construction will continue on schedule, Baker added, with the final piece being the new compressor.
Bakker did not elaborate on why the company needed to order a new compressor, and follow-up messages to Bakker went unanswered Friday.
US Methanol has said, once up and running, the plant will employ around 50 people and produce 200,000 metric tons of methanol annually.
The state Economic Development Authority approved in May a one-year commitment extension for its $10 million loan to US Methanol, with EDA Executive Director David Warner saying that it would be May 2019 at the earliest for the plant’s construction to conclude.
The extension allows US Methanol more time to construct the plant and then use the loan.
“There is progress being made, but it’s going to be a lengthy construction period,” Warner said at the time.
US Methanol’s website, as of Friday afternoon, still has “the second half of 2018” for when production will commence at Liberty One.
The plant is the company’s first, and it is being made with parts of a deconstructed plant from Brazil. It’s receiving “minor upgrades, repairs and modifications” to give it “an expected useful life of 30 years,” according to the website.