Germany's Lurgihas received an early works order to build the 1.8 million-tonne-a-year (t/y) methanol plant planned by the US/local joint venture of Celaneseand TasneePetrochemicals. Signing of the estimated $700 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is expected soon (MEED 24:11:04).
Under the terms of the 34-month contract, Lurgi, which will supply its in-house mega-methanol technology, will carry out detailed engineering and begin the procurement of certain long-lead items. The plant will be built in Jubail, adjacent to Tasnee's existing polyolefins complex Gas feedstock will be supplied by Saudi Aramco, with the majority of the methanol output destined for the 500,000-t/y acetic acid and 275,000-t/y vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) units planned by the project sponsors. Tenders for the two units are expected to be issued in 2006. The remaining methanol produced will be sold to the local and international market (MEED 29:4:05). Project funding is expected to be secured once financial close is reached on Tasnee's other Jubail project - a 1.3 million-t/y ethylene cracker for which Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC)is financial adviser.