Methanex idles Chile operations

Methanex Corp. (TSX:MX) on January 10 announced plans to idle its Chilean operations in March due to anticipated insufficient natural gas supply.
Harvesting Chile plants: Methanex is spending $550 million to relocate this methanol plant from Chile to Louisiana

Methanex Corp. (TSX:MX) on January 10 announced plans to idle its Chilean operations in March due to anticipated insufficient natural gas supply.

Only one of the company’s four Chilean plants are currently operating and it represents less than 5% of the company’s total production.

“Due to continued natural gas supply challenges, we do not expect to have sufficient feedstock to keep our Chile plant operating through the southern hemisphere winter,” said John Floren, who took over from Bruce Aitken as the company’s CEO at the start of the year.

“Our current expectation is that resumption of our plant operation would be possible later in the year.”

Methanex last year embarked on a plan to spend $550 million to move one of its idled Chilean plants to Louisiana.

Relocating that plant was expected to create 1,500 jobs during the construction phase and 130 full-time jobs when it goes into production by the end of 2014.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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