Chinese-Backed Company Pulls Plug On $3.4B Tacoma Methanol Plan

April 20, 2016




The tideflats of Tacoma, Washington, was the desired site to build the world's largest methanol plant, slated to produce 7 million tons of methanol a year for use in Asia.

However, after 24 months of discussion, Northwest Innovation Works has pulled the plug on Tuesday, decrying "the misinformation swirling about potential impacts of our project."

Northwest Innovation Works, backed by the Chinese government, had planned to build the world's largest methanol plant on the site of an old Kaiser aluminum smelter.

Instead, company officials suspended the Tacoma proposal after public protests, an announcement of an anti-methanol ballot initiative and about 1,000 objections lodged with the city. Key objections were the plant's potential air emissions and use of 10 million gallons of water per day.

Northwest Innovation Works said a smaller methanol production facility is planned in Kalama on the Columbia River, 50 miles north of Portland.

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