Methanex successfully started its Geismar 1 plant in late January and produced
198,000 tons of methanol during the first quarter, according to Chief Executive Officer John Floren.
The company also is making “excellent progress” on the Geismar 2 plant and expects to begin production late in the first quarter of 2016, Floren said. The company expects to spend $265 million over the next 12 months on the second Geismar facility, which also will have an annual production capacity of 1.1 million tons.
Floren’s comments were part of the first-quarter earnings report for the company, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Methanol is used in a variety of products from windshield wiper fluid to gasoline blends. The versatile liquid is made primarily from natural gas.
Methanex’s first-quarter profit plummeted to $9 million, or 23 cents per share, compared to $145 million, or $1.65 per share, a year ago. The main culprit was a drop in methanol pricing, from an average of $421 per ton to $371 per ton.