Texas City commissioners approved a lease of property on Shoal Point for a Chinese group that is considering it as a site for a multibillion-dollar methanol plant.
Texas City is a possible location for a new methanol plant. The numbers that are being talked about are huge.
Methanol used to be called “wood alcohol” because it was obtained by distilling fermented wood. Methanol today is synthesized from natural gas and is a major building block chemical. It is used as a feedstock for producing animal food supplements, paints, plastics and medicines. It is used as a motor fuel. It is used to produce biofuels. Indy race cars used methanol for fuel for many years.
Primarily, the new value of methanol is as a proxy for exporting natural gas. Methanol is easy to produce and ship via ocean going ships. Methanol is the second most transported liquid in the world. In this context it competes with liquefied natural gas. The complexity and expense of LNG production and shipping favors methanol.
The proposed plant will provide hundreds of high-paying, permanent jobs and many other supporting businesses and services. Texas City citizens and leaders understand this kind of plant and they should compete very hard to secure it.