CB&I to design world’s largest methanol plant

Article by Adam Duckett

Preliminary rendering of the world-scale methanol complex

CB&I has been awarded a contract for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) of the world’s largest methanol production facility planned for the US.

The scope of the work includes FEED services to produce a binding lump sum price for IGP Methanol’s complex in Myrtle Grove, Louisiana. The plans are to build four identical methanol trains, each with the capacity to produce 1.8m t/y of methanol from natural gas. Each unit is estimated to cost US$900m. The contract also includes terms for exclusive selection of CB&I for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of each train.

The plant will take advantage of cheap gas feedstocks from US fracking, which is fuelling a boom in chemicals processing investment along the US Gulf Coast. IGP says it is focussed on producing methanol as a base chemical feedstock and a clean-burning fuel. The company says as well as a replacement for gasoline and diesel for road vehicles and trains, it believes methanol will be a transformative fuel in ocean freight, reducing emissions by 95% compared to bunker fuel.

IGP has already agreed a deal for ConocoPhillips to supply natural gas for the complex; Haldor Topsøe will provide the methanol conversion technology; Praxair will build, own and operate the site’s air separation units; and Veolia will build and operate the water treatment and wastewater plant.

Article by Adam Duckett

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