Canadian company Nauticol Energy has announced plans to construct a $2bn methanol manufacturing facility in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada.
The project will produce up to three million tonnes of methanol per year, converting Alberta’s natural gas into a value-added product.
Methanol is a multi-purpose product with several end uses, including fuels, electronics, construction materials, solvents and petrochemicals.
There has been a significant growth in demand for methanol due to its use in clean alternative fuels.
The project is expected to create 1,000 construction jobs and 200 permanent jobs, in addition to promoting economic development in Alberta.
The methanol facility will be established adjacent to the existing International Paper Canada pulp mill.
The building will be a modularised facility, which will reduce the project’s ecological footprint by 50% compared to a traditional methanol facility of this scale.
Beginning in 2019, the facility will be constructed in three stages, using a modularised design.
PCL Construction will build the facility modules in Alberta and transport them to the Grande Prairie site, located 10km south of the city in the County of Grande Prairie.
Most of the methanol produced will be exported to Asian markets.
Nauticol has signed an agreement with the Western Cree Tribal Council (WCTC) under which WCTC will be an equity participant in the project.
WCTC serves the communities of Duncan’s First Nation, Horse Lake First Nation and Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation.
The company will work with the government to secure regulatory permits for the project.
Earlier in 2018, Nauticol and its partners announced the proposed development of an integrated methanol and urea project in Bécancour, Québec.
Nauticol Energy president and CEO Mark Tonner said: “Nauticol is committed to building value-add industry in the Grande Prairie region. This leading-edge facility will create 75,000 people years of employment and adds value to Alberta’s abundant natural gas supply.
“This is a made-in-Alberta/made-for-Albertans project that will add tremendous economic, environmental and societal benefits both here and around the world.
“Nauticol truly values the meaningful relationships we have developed with the Western Cree Tribal Council. Our company is committed to a partnership built on reciprocity, shared knowledge and shared opportunities.”
Image: An aerial view of Nauticol’s methanol plant in Alberta, Canada. Photo: Courtesy of NAUTICOL ENERGY INC.