Nauticol Energy plans $2-billion methanol facility in Grande Prairie

Nauticol Energy says it plans build a $2-billion methanol manufacturing facility in Grande Prarie starting in 2019.

President and CEO Mark Tonner made the announcement at Centre 2000, the tourism and trade facility for the Grande Prairie region, according to a news release Tuesday.

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"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,” Tonner said in a statement.

“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.”

The project would source natural gas from Alberta to produce up to three million metric tonnes of methanol a year, for use as automotive and marine fuel, or for use in electronics and construction materials, solvents and petrochemicals.

Most of the methanol will be shipped to Asian markets, which make up 70 per cent of global demand, according to the release.

The project is being built next to the International Paper Canada pulp mill, and construction is expected to create 1,000 jobs, with 200 permanent jobs once complete.

Nauticol says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Western Cree Tribal Council to be equity participants in the project.

The project still needs to secure regulatory permits, though Nauticol plans to start construction in 2019. 

PCL Construction is leading the construction, and will build the facility modules in Alberta and transport them to the Grande Prairie site, located about 10 kilometres south of the city in the County of Grande Prairie.

The facility is planned to be complete in 2021.

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