OCI N.V. (NYSE Euronext: OCI) announced today that Natgasoline LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary, plans to build a new greenfield world scale methanol plant in Beaumont, Texas. The plant is expected to have a capacity of up to 5,000 metric tons per day (tpd), equivalent to approximately 1.75 million metric tons per annum (mtpa), and is expected to start production in late 2016. It will be the first methanol facility of this scale in the United States and will be the country’s largest methanol production facility based on nameplate capacity.
The project will use state-of-the-art methanol technology and will incorporate best available environmental control technology. Natgasoline LLC submitted applications for environmental approvals at both state and federal levels in February 2013. The plant will take up a portion of a 514 acre plot of land recently acquired by OCI.
The project has been awarded a grant of US$ 2.1 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund, as well as incentive commitments from local entities, including the city of Beaumont, Jefferson County, the Beaumont Independent School District, the Port of Beaumont and the Sabine-Neches Navigation District. The Texas Enterprise Fund is a cash grant used as a financial incentive tool for projects that offer significant projected job creation and capital investment and where a single Texas site is competing with another viable out-of-state option. OCI estimates that the project will create approximately 3,000 construction jobs over the next three years and has committed to create 240 permanent jobs.
This is OCI N.V’s third natural gas monetization project in the US following the refurbishment of OCI Beaumont’s integrated methanol and ammonia facility in Beaumont, Texas (the operating subsidiary of OCI Partners LP, NYSE: OCIP) and the construction of a US$ 1.8 billion nitrogen fertilizer complex in Wever, Iowa by the Iowa Fertilizer Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCI N.V.
Texas Governor, Rick Perry, commented “Texas has created a job-friendly economic environment through our low taxes, smart regulations, fair courts and skilled workforce that welcomes world-class companies looking to expand or relocate their operations. Natgasoline’s commitment to expanding and creating jobs in Texas further strengthens our energy industry and continues the Lone Star State’s longstanding role in fueling the nation.”
OCI N.V.’s Chief Executive Officer, Nassef Sawiris, commented: “Following the success of OCI Beaumont’s facility, OCI is pleased to have selected the State of Texas once again to expand its North American methanol activities. We believe that the prospects for the US methanol industry will remain positive for the foreseeable future because of growing U.S. and global demand, continued access to attractively priced natural gas feedstock and the United States’ current position as a net importer. Natgasoline LLC is well-positioned to supply methanol, an essential building block for numerous end-use products, to the domestic market and help reduce a substantial reliance on annual methanol imports into the country. OCI’s Construction Group will be involved in the construction of the plant, creating job opportunities in Texas and facilitating the completion of the project on schedule.
The effort shown by Governor Perry, Judge Branick and the commissioners’ court, Mayor Ames, city manager Kyle Hayes and the Beaumont city council, Dr. Chargois and the Beaumont school board, the Port of Beaumont and the Sabine Neches Navigation District reaffirms our commitment to Beaumont and the surrounding communities.”
Although OCI N.V. currently intends to offer all or a portion of the facility to OCI Partners LP at the appropriate time following completion of the facility, it has no obligation to do so, and OCI Partners LP has no right to acquire any interest in the facility from OCI N.V. Please see “Forward Looking Statements” below. OCI N.V. owns the general partner of, and a 78.3% limited partner interest in, OCI Partners LP, which operates an integrated methanol and ammonia production facility in Beaumont, Texas. OCI Partners LP is the largest producer of merchant methanol in the United States.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of U.S. federal and other securities laws. Words and phrases such as “is anticipated,” “is estimated,” “is expected,” “is planned,” “is scheduled,” “is targeted,” “believes,” “intends,” “objectives,” “projects,” “strategies” and similar expressions are used to identify such forward-looking statements. However, the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements relating to the proposed construction and operation of the new methanol production facility are based on management’s expectations, estimates and projections about the methanol industry and other factors on the date this news release was prepared. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict, including, but not limited to, the risks related to prevailing conditions and outlook in the methanol industry, natural gas pricing and supply conditions and outlook, construction risks, hazards and delays, environmental and other permitting costs and delays, and the availability of financing on acceptable terms, whether from the capital markets or other sources. In addition, any determination by OCI N.V. to offer any interest in the completed facility to OCI Partners LP will be made in OCI N.V.’s sole discretion and will in any event be subject to a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the ability to reach agreement on acceptable terms, the approval of a conflicts committee of OCI Partners LP (if appropriate), prevailing conditions and outlook in the methanol industry, natural gas pricing and supply conditions and outlook, and OCI Partners LP’s ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms, from the capital markets or other sources. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed in such forward-looking statements. OCI N.V. is under no obligation (and expressly disclaims any such obligation) to update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.