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Plans for US$3.24 billion blue methanol plant in Louisiana

Plans for US$3.24 billion blue methanol plant in Louisiana
Lake Charles Methanol II, LLC (LCM) has announced plans to invest US$3.24 billion to construct a new manufacturing plant that will produce low-carbon intensity methanol and other chemicals at the Port of Lake Charles, Louisiana (LA).

In the United States (US), low-carbon methanol project developer Lake Charles Methanol II, LLC (LCM) has announced plans to invest US$3.24 billion to construct a new manufacturing plant that will produce low-carbon intensity methanol and other chemicals at the Port of Lake Charles, Louisiana (LA). 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 proposed facility would reform natural gas and renewable gas feedstocks into hydrogen while capturing carbon dioxide (CO2), which would then be used to produce about 3.6 million tonnes per year of methanol.

Lake Charles Methanol II plans to work with a third party to capture and sequester about 1 million tonnes of CO2 per year, which would reduce the carbon intensity of the hydrogen for synthesis into low-carbon intensity methanol.

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. With the strong support of state and local officials and the local community, we believe that Lake Charles is a fantastic location for this project and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to bring it to fruition, said Don Maley, LCM President.

Job creation

The project is currently undergoing a FEED study and regulatory permitting. A Final Investment Decision (FID) and the 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.

I have said from day one that Louisiana must not only attract new businesses but help existing businesses like Lake Charles Methanol grow and thrive. This expansion would bring billions of dollars, hundreds of permanent high-paying new jobs, and thousands of construction jobs, providing a tremendous boost to the economy of the Southwest Region. The state looks forward to continuing to support LCM’s efforts to bring the project to completion, said Governor Jeff Landry.

If the project moves forward as outlined, the company expects to create 123 direct new jobs in Calcasieu Parish, with an estimated average annual salary of US$135,955.

Our region continues to be a hub for innovation and technology that advances our ability to provide solutions for global demands. This project is no different, and will bring major economic benefits to our region while providing products to be utilized on an international scale, said Calcasieu Parish Administrator Bryan Beam.

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project would result in 605 indirect new jobs, for a total of 728 potential new jobs in the Southwest Region. LCM estimates that more than 2,300 construction jobs will be created at the peak of construction.

It’s exciting news that the Lake Charles Methanol project will be built and bring high-paying jobs with benefits for the skilled workers of Westlake and Calcasieu Parish. This will be a huge economic boost not only for Southwest Louisiana but the entire state, said Westlake Mayor Hal McMillin.

Competitive incentive package

To secure the project in Louisiana, LED offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart.

It also includes a Performance-Based Grant of US$5 million to be used for reimbursement of company expenditures for infrastructure needs. The company is also expected to participate in Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.

The Lake Charles Methanol II plant is a welcome addition to our regional industrial base and the numerous jobs it will create will be another boon for southwest Louisiana’s skilled workforce. It is projects like this that also highlight the hard work and perseverance of the leadership of the Port of Lake Charles. We are honored to work with the port and similar regional players to bring projects like this to our region, said George Swift, President and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.

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