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SLM plans new $1.3 billion methanol plant in Louisiana

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South Louisiana Methanol (SLM) has announced plans to build a new $1.3 billion methanol production facility in St. James Parish, Louisiana.

The new production unit will be situated in the Port of South Louisiana district, which offers the benefit of superior access to interstate and intrastate natural gas and carbon dioxide pipelines.

The SLM methanol production facility will convert 163,000 MMBtu/day of natural gas to 5,000 metric tons per day of methanol. The construction work on the plant is scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2013 and is expected to commence operations in mid-2016. Upon completion, the new facility will create 63 new jobs in the region.

The project is jointly owned by US-based Zero Emission Energy Plant Limited (ZEEP) and New Zealand-based Todd Corporation. The new facility will leverage the low-cost availability of feedstocks in Louisiana.

According to SLM, methanol may be easily distributed as an intermediate feedstock for chemical manufacturers in the Gulf Coast region and to foreign markets. Methanol is a critical ingredient in formaldehyde, acetic acids, olefins and transportation fuels. It can be found in home construction materials, paints and adhesives, plastic bottles, fuel cells, biodiesel and various fuel blends.

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