New methanol plant launched

By Jack Burke20 January 2021

Developers include Mitsubishi

A consortium that includes Mitsubishi has launched a methanol and dimethyl ether plant that could produce fuel for the shipping industry.

The group includes Mitsubishi Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co (MGC), Mitsubishi Corp. (MC) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHIENG) as well as the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) and Massy Holdings (Massy), a joint venture in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean Gas Chemical Ltd (CGCL).

Commercial operations commence at methanol/dimethyl ether plant in Trinidad and Tobago.

Methanol is a basic chemical that is used as a raw material in the production of many downstream products. Its applications include adhesives, agricultural chemicals, paints, plastics and synthetic textiles. In recent years, it has been garnering more attention as an alternative to heavy fuel oil in the shipping industry and as an otherwise environmentally-friendly source of energy, the companies said. Furthermore, because it can be produced from CO2 and as a promising hydrogen carrier, it could play a part in realizing sustainable, low-carbon societies. DME is also raising interest as a clean, next-generation energy source. In addition to its use in aerosol products and other daily goods, it can serve as an alternative to liquefied petroleum gas and diesel fuel for automobiles and power generation.

Currently, the global demand for methanol is approximately 81 million tons per year, and that is expected to increase steadily in step with GDP growth. Through this business, MGC, MC and MHIENG are aiming to help meet that demand and provide a boost to economic growth in the Caribbean.

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