US$350m Pleasants County Methanol Plant construction gets air permit

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The construction of the Pleasants County Methanol Plant project is getting closer to becoming a reality with the announcement by West Virginia Methanol, Inc., that it received a minor source air permit from the State of West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection.

This is a  $350 million plant that is expected to produce 315,000 metric tons per year or 900 metric tons per day of high-purity methanol, with reduced emissions which amount to about 35,000 MBTU per day in natural gas. 

Methanol is an important component for thousands of products that utilize clean burning liquid fuel alternatives, and is used in combination with several products which include resins, adhesives, plastics, paints and others. This can then be used in producing things like electric vehicles, charging stations, wind turbine blades, yoga pants, cell phones and space vehicles, just to name a few.

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Lars Scott, the executive vice president at West Virginia Methanol said, “The issuance of the air permit is a major milestone in the development of the Pleasants County Methanol Plant.” He also said, “West Virginia’s abundant supply of natural gas provides a clean feedstock for the project and methanol customers in the region will benefit from lower transportation costs.”

According to Scott, the plant would be constructed by Haldor Topsoe and Modular Plant Solutions, to provide a modular design for the plant by utilizing Haldor Topsoe’s innovative technology which is aimed at ensuring reduced on-site construction, shorter commissioning times and savings on upfront capital costs. He also said that the timeframe for the construction could be  within the range of 27 to 30 months.

The executive director of the Pleasants County Development Authority, Diane Braun stated, “We are honored to be a partner with West Virginia Methanol and welcome them to Pleasants County.”

Jay Powell who is the Commissioner of Pleasants County also said, “We give the good Lord credit first for such a blessing.” She also added,  “For a small state, we’ve accomplished a lot of great things lately and this is just another one of those things. We had stiff competition. At one point we were told we were an underdog. But … the people of Pleasants County and the people of West Virginia have made this happen.”