USA: Plant Engineering Methanex to Construct 1.8 Million Tonne Methanol Facility
The new methanol plant is expected to be constructed adjacent to Methanex’s existing Geismar 1 and Geismar 2 facilities in Louisiana, USA. The mega project is anticipated to cost between 1.3 – 1.4 billion dollars.
Vancouver/Canada – Methanex Corporation has recently announced that its Board of Directors reached a unanimous final investment decision to construct a 1.8 million tonne methanol plant in Geismar, Louisiana adjacent to its existing Geismar 1 and Geismar 2 facilities. Construction on the Geismar 3 plant will begin later this year and operations are targeted in the second half of 2022. The cost of the project is expected to be between 1.3 – 1.4 billion dollars including costs of approximately 60 million dollars incurred to date.
The company has a robust and flexible financing plan for the Geismar 3 project. It has committed financing for the project with a new five-year 800 million dollar construction facility and for the renewal of its existing 300 million dollar revolving credit facility, which replaces the company’s existing revolving facility, to provide further liquidity. Both facilities have been arranged with a syndicate of banks and will expire in July 2024. In addition, the company expects to access the debt capital markets during the second half of 2019 to pre-fund approximately 250 million dollars of the Geismar 3 2020 expenditures and to repay the company’s 350 million dollar aggregate principal amount of bonds due in December 2019.
John Floren, President & CEO of Methanex, commented, “We are extremely pleased to move forward with the Geismar 3 project which we believe will create significant long-term value for shareholders. Compared to a standalone US Gulf greenfield plant, this project benefits from substantial capital and operating cost advantages, and we expects that it will deliver outstanding returns. We believe we are well positioned to complete this project as we have a rigorous and well-defined execution plan, an experienced team in place and a strong balance sheet and financial flexibility to execute the project safely across a wide range of prices. As we have stated previously, we have a preference to have a strategic partner for the project and we will continue to pursue that option.”
Floren added, “As part of the cooperation agreement we reached with M&G Investments earlier this year, we retained an independent financial advisory firm to advise and support the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee of the Board in reviewing the company’s financing plan for the Geismar 3 project. The independent financial advisory firm was one of the three firms agreed to by both parties in the cooperation agreement. The independent review was rigorous and the report, which was reviewed in detail with the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee and shared with the full Board as part of their review of the Geismar 3 project, concluded that we have a robust financing plan.”
Floren concluded, “Our long-term outlook for the methanol industry is very positive. Demand forecasts for methanol are strong and new capacity additions will be needed to meet expected demand growth. We have a long track record of making disciplined capital investments to enhance our leadership position while maintaining a strong balance sheet and returning excess cash to shareholders. Geismar 3 is an exceptional opportunity to deliver on our long-term strategy to enhance our position as the methanol industry leader.”