Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP said Monday it will invest around $58 million to expand its chemical storage capacity to support Methanex Corp.’s methanol plant in Geismar.
Under the long-term contract with Methanex, Kinder Morgan’s Geismar Liquids Terminal will provide marine, rail and truck access for the $550 million methanol plant.
Kinder Morgan will build, own and operate the storage tanks and related infrastructure, the company said. Kinder Morgan will also improve the existing dock at the company’s Geismar terminal.
The plant will be capable of producing 1.1 million tons of methanol a year. Last year, Vancouver-based Methanex received the state and federal air permits needed to build and operate the plant, which is being moved from Chile. In January, Methanex announced that Chesapeake Energy will supply natural gas to the Geismar plant under a 10-year contract.
Methanol can be found in everything from windshield washer fluid to recyclable plastic bottles, plywood floors, paint, silicone sealants and synthetic fibers.
Methanex is also looking at relocating a second Chile plant to Geismar, and the decision is expected in the next three months. However, during a January conference call with investors and stock analysts, Methanex Chief Executive Officer John Floren said the company has the resources to move both plants to Geismar.
Kinder Morgan said the improvements to its Geismar facility will be completed and in service during the second half of 2014 when the methanol plant is expected to begin operations.
“The abundance of attractively priced domestic natural gas has led to a resurgence in the chemical and manufacturing industries,” John Schlosser, president of Kinder Morgan Terminals, said in a news release.