(ICIS) -- Methanol producer Methanex may move a second plant from Chile to the US Gulf, a New York stock analyst said on Wednesday. Methanex said late Tuesday that it would move one of its four methanol plants in the South American country to a site in southern Lousiana, by mid-2014.
But Charles Neivert, managing director at Dahlman Rose & Co. in New York, said he's been told that the property Methanex purchased in Geismar, about 60 miles south of Baton Rouge, could easily contain two methanol units. ⌠It looks like there's at least that possibility, Neivert said in an interview.
Neivert sent out a research note on Wednesday saying the move to Louisiana would begin to resolve Methanex's recurrent problems in Chile.
The Methanex move marks the second announcement in a year of a new methanol plant operating in the US. In January 2011, it was announced that a mothballed methanol plant in Beaumont, Texas, would be restarted. That plant, owned by OCI North America, began making ammonia in December and will begin making methanol by the end of March.
Methanex did not immediately return calls on Wednesday. The company's release said low North American natural gas prices made Lousiana an attractive location for making methanol.
Methanex has three idle plants in Punta Arenas, Chile. Only one Methanex plant there is operating, with a capacity of 850,000 tonnes/year. The three idle plants have capacities between 800,000-975,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS.