New gas-to-methanol plant on US West Coast

04 December 2017

China’s CAS Holdings, an investment arm of China’s Academy of Science, is looking to put $2 billion into turning natural gas into methanol on the U.S. West Coast and shipping the fuel to Chinese factories and chemical makers.

Wu Lebin, chairman of CAS Holdings, told Reuters last week the venture is part of a plan his company is leading to build a supply chain for methanol, potentially China’s next alternative industrial and transport fuel.

The project, to be located at Kalama Port in the U.S. state of Washington on the Columbia River, has applied for state and federal government permits, but there isn’t a timeline on when the approvals are expected.

An engineering unit of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC)] is carrying out front-end engineering design work for two 1.8 million tonne-per-year gas-to-methanol lines that will cost about $2 billion. The Kalama project could offer the world’s second-largest oil consumer another alternative low-carbon fuel and further diversify its fuel choices.