OCI N.V. (NYSE Euronext: OCI) today announced it has reached agreement to acquire BioMCN, a methanol producer and pioneer in bio-methanol production based in The Netherlands, for EUR 15 million. BioMCN’s glycerin activities are not part of the transaction and will be continued under the name of Dutch Glycerin Refinery B.V.
BioMCN is one of Europe’s largest methanol producers and owns two methanol plants, of which one is operational (production capacity of 440 ktpa) and one mothballed (430 ktpa). The plant site is located at the Chemical Park Delfzijl, The Netherlands, is connected to the national natural gas grid and has easy logistical access to major European end markets via road, rail, barge and sea freight.
The acquisition creates a foothold for OCI in the European methanol market. Methanol consumption in Western Europe is currently more than 7 million tons per year, of which approximately 30% is used in transportation fuel applications. Europe currently imports more than 5 million tons of methanol and this deficit is expected to continue to increase for the foreseeable future.
OCI N.V. currently produces methanol in the United States at OCI Beaumont in Texas with a production capacity of 913 ktpa. OCI will add another 1.75 mtpa of capacity at Natgasoline, a new world-scale greenfield methanol plant under construction on a site adjacent to OCI Beaumont.
OCI N.V. CEO Nassef Sawiris commented: “This is an important addition to our natural gas-based portfolio of products at a time when natural gas prices are becoming more favourable in Europe. We are firm believers in the methanol industry and its growth prospects. Methanol is a diverse building block for industrial chemicals and can be used as a transportation fuel. This acquisition gives us a foothold in both the European methanol markets and in the bio-methanol market.”