In mid-July, the Methanex Board of Directors reached a final investment decision to construct a 1.8 million tonne methanol plant in Geismar, Louisiana adjacent to its existing Geismar 1 and Geismar 2 facilities. Johnson Matthey was awarded the contract to supply the licence for the ATR (autothermal reformer) methanol technology flowsheet, including associated basic engineering, proprietary equipment and catalyst supply. Construction on the $1.3 – 1.4 billion plant will begin later this year with operations targeted for the second half of 2022.
When Geismar 3 operations commence, this will become the eighth Methanex plant in operation to use JM-licensed methanol technology and the second to use a JM ATR, a testament to the operational reliability and flexibility of JM’s portfolio and ATR technology. JM’s world scale methanol generation technology has been licensed for more than four decades with over 90 plant licenses granted in that time. JM’s syngas-generation technology options include steam methane reforming, combined reforming, ATR and gas-heated reforming, allowing for a tailored approach unique to each customer’s particular methanol project requirements.
“We are delighted to be selected as technology supplier by Methanex yet again, demonstrating our ability to deliver a bespoke flowsheet to suit our customers’ requirements. We look forward to closely supporting the project through the engineering, construction, commissioning and start-up phases and into ongoing operation,” said John Gordon, Managing Director, Johnson Matthey.
About Johnson Matthey ATR Technology
JM’s ATR technology is a well proven reactor where natural gas and oxygen and, optionally, the product from the primary reformer, are mixed in a proprietary device. The mixed gas combusts and then reforms over JM’s KATALCOTM catalyst bed to provide low methane-containing syngas. The gas and oxygen are well mixed at the burner and combustion is completed well before the catalyst bed, so the gas is at a very uniform temperature across the ATR and there is no danger of over-heating the catalyst. JM’s ATR burner has no need for cooling to maintain mechanical integrity, and no complex nozzles or swirlers that can become blocked and cause premature failure. Customers benefit from high methane conversion, low maintenance, and no catalyst movement or significant pressure drop increase.
KATALCO is a trademark of the Johnson Matthey group of companies.