YCI has awarded Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions, US Inc. the detailed design engineering contract for YCI’s methanol plant in St. James Parish.

The plant, when completed, will be able to produce 1.7 million tons of methanol a year. The plant is the first of three phases in YCI’s $1.85 billion methanol manufacturing complex. Under the agreement, Air Liquide also will provide procurement services for the entire facility.

Construction on the methanol plant is projected to begin during the fourth quarter. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 18.

“With an overall goal to complete this plant in early 2018, starting work on detailed engineering now is important and timely,” said Jerry Oliver, YCI vice president of manufacturing.

YCI is the North American subsidiary of China-based Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Co. Ltd.