SOURCE: Zeus Development Corporation

Zeus Development Corporation

April 23, 2014 16:27 ET

US Poised for Major Methanol Construction, GTL North America Conference to Examine

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - Apr 23, 2014) - Announcements of some 17 construction projects to build methanol-based gas conversion facilities in North America have been made in recent months, representing unprecedented investment in this global industry. Sustained low natural gas prices as a direct result of advancements to extract hydrocarbons from shale have created the opportunity for pioneering developers. 

"Methanol from natural gas can be used to make many ultra-clean fuels and products, from zero-sulfur gasoline to dimethyl ether, a super clean LPG replacement used for heating, cooking and transportation," said Chris Cothran, lead synthesis gas analyst at Zeus Intelligence. "Our recent survey found that about half of the U.S. gas-conversion projects intend to produce methanol as an intermediary or finished product."

Aside from fuels, methanol is used to produce paints, solvents and plastics. More than 90 plants worldwide have a combined production capacity of about 100 million metric tons (almost 33 billion gallons or 90 billion liters), according to the Methanol Institute. U.S. proposals tend to be large in scale. Analysis by Zeus has identified 43 developmental gas-conversion projects across North America. Of these, 17 involve methanol as an intermediary or end product. Major firms such as BP, Valero Celanese, Methanex, Mitsui, OCI, LyondellBasell, ZEEP, and G2X Energy are involved. A complete list of the projects can be downloaded at www.gtlnorthamerica.com/forms/modular-gas-conversion-survey/.

"North America aims to import less fuel, and methanol is an important process to converting abundant natural gas into fuels most commonly made from imported oil," Cothran noted. "Using this tried and tested technology offers an immediate opportunity for developers to compete in many new markets."

The latest on North America's rapidly growing gas-conversion sector will be presented by leading project developers and technologists at the fourth-annual GTL North America conference to be held at Houston's Westin Galleria hotel, June 3-5. The event includes Fluor's opening workshop on gas-conversion opportunities, a tour of Ventech Engineering's modular fabrication facility, and speakers from such leading firms as JM-Davy, Axens, Sasol, ExxonMobil, Praxair, Velocys, Worley Parsons and others. Information is available online at www.gtlnorthamerica.com.

To stay abreast of the latest trends and analysis in the global syngas and GTL industry, Zeus' Syngas Refiner Report offers an invaluable perspective on the market. In addition, subscribers can access the industry-leading Global Gasification Project Databases to track new and existing projects around the world. More information is available online at: http://www.zeusintel.com/Gasification.aspx.

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