Louisiana approves 4 methanol plants; Appalachia Storage Hub clears hurdle; Enterprise expands Texas natural gas plant

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The Gulf Coast Methanol Park will consist of four identical methanol plants or trains each producing 1.8 million tonnes/year of methanol from natural gas. Photo: IGPM

Louisiana approves 4-train methanol mega complex

IGP Methanol (IGPM) has secured approval from state regulators to build and operate its mega Gulf Coast Methanol Complex (GCMC) on a 140-acre parcel adjacent to the Mississippi River near Myrtle Grove in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) issued a Title V air-quality operating permit for the grassroots complex on January 4, IGPM said.

The Gulf Coast Methanol Park will consist of four identical methanol plants or trains each producing 1.8 million tonnes/year of methanol from natural gas.

When completed, the company’s Gulf Coast Methanol Park would produce 7.2m tonnes/year of methanol, greater than total US production now.

Production is planned to begin in late 2020. The facility will employ up to 1,500 construction workers per plant, and over 325 permanent operation and maintenance jobs.

"Several US Fortune 500 companies are involved as supply partners to help develop this project,” said James S. Lamoureaux, IGP's Managing Director. “IGP has already selected technology and engineering providers, natural gas supply, gas transportation, oxygen and nitrogen supply, as well as storage and loading partners.

IGP will also be building common services infrastructure, and managing operations and maintenance. 

While the company did not disclose an estimated cost, local media in Louisiana put the tag at $2.8 billion, more expensive than other Louisiana methanol projects.

Energy dept advances $1.9 bn loan process for Appalachia Storage Hub

Plans for an underground natural gas liquids storage in Appalachia are moving closer to reality.


The Appalachia Storage & Trading Hub initiative got approval in January for the first of two application phases for a $1.9 billion U.S. Department of Energy loan, the Appalachia Development Group LLC said in a news release. The group heading the project said it also aims to secure $1.4 billion through other financing.

The project has taken eight years to reach this point, and Appalachia Development Group CEO Steve Hedrick said it would take several more years to come to fruition.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates the facility could attract up to $36 billion in new chemical and plastics industry investment and create 100,000 new area jobs.

Enterprise Products to expand Orla Natural Gas Processing Complex in West Texas

Enterprise Products announced that the partnership plans to add 300 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of incremental capacity at its cryogenic natural gas processing facility under construction near Orla, Texas.

The addition of a third processing train at Orla would increase inlet volume capacity to 900 MMcf/d and allow Enterprise to expand its natural gas liquids (NGL) extraction capabilities by an incremental 40,000 barrels/day to 120,000 barrels/day. The third processing train is expected to begin service in the second quarter of 2019 and will complement trains one and two, which are on schedule for completion in the second and third quarters of 2018.

“The ongoing expansion of our Orla facility is being driven by the continued growth of NGL-rich natural gas production in the Delaware Basin and is supported by long-term commitments with producers,” said A.J. “Jim” Teague, chief executive officer of Enterprise’s general partner. “Over the next five years, supplies of natural gas and NGLs in the Permian Basin could nearly double.”

Mixed NGLs from Orla will be delivered into Enterprise’s fully integrated pipeline system, including the new Shin Oak Pipeline which is currently under construction and scheduled to begin operations in the second quarter of 2019.

Residual natural gas from Orla will be transported to the Waha area through a 68-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline scheduled to begin service commensurate with the first Orla train, and will connect to Enterprise’s Texas Intrastate pipeline system at the Waha hub. Upon completion of the Orla expansion projects, Enterprise will have total natural gas processing capacity of more than 1.2 billion cubic feet per day, and the capability to extract more than 200,000 barrels/day of NGLs in the Permian Basin.