In early 2011, a joint venture of OCI Fertilizer (Netherlands), a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries, and Janus Methanol AG (Switzerland) was formed. In May 2011, the joint venture, named Pandora Methanol LLC, announced it had reached financial closure for the purchase of the methanol and ammonia facility near Beaumont, Texas with the Eastman Chemical Company. In December 2011, OCI Fertilizer (Netherlands) acquired sole ownership of the facility. As from July 1 2012 the plant operates as OCI Beaumont LLC.
The plant has a production capacity of 250,000 tons of ammonia and 750,000 tons of methanol per annum. In addition, the plant has an ammonia tank with a capacity of 18,000 tons and two methanol storage tanks with a capacity of 22,000 tons each. The plant has pipeline connections to adjacent customers and port access with dedicated methanol and ammonia import/export jetties and ships both products along the Gulf Coast.
The integrated methanol-ammonia facility was started up in the late 1960s. The methanol unit was modernized in the early 1980s using Lurgi GmbH’s Low Pressure Methanol technology and a new ammonia line was started up in 2000 based on Haldor Topsøe technology. The last owner of the plant, the Eastman Chemical Company, took over the plant from Terra Industries in 2008 after it had been idle since 2004, when US-based natural gas prices topped US$ 12 per MMBtu.
OCI Beaumont LLC has restored the integrated methanol-ammonia facility. OCI Beaumont LLC employed over one thousand contractors during the rehabilitation work and has settled into full operations with over seventy full-time employees. All employees come from or have settled in the Beaumont area.
Ammonia production commenced in late 2011 and methanol production started on Independence Day July 4, 2012.
Approba welcomes OCI Beaumont LLC from Texas, United States of America, as new client and is grateful for the trust given.