National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) and Massy Holding’s joint venture company Caribbean Gas Chemical Limited (CGCL) has entered into an agreement with a consortium of Mitsubishi companies to launch commercial operations of a methanol and dimethyl ether (DME) plant.
Last month, Mitsubishi Corporation confirmed in a press release that, alongside Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company (MGC) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHIENG), it will partner with Caribbean Gas Chemical Limited (CGCL) to meet the global demand for methanol “and provide a boost to economic growth in the Caribbean”.
The Japanese company estimates that, at present, the global demand for methanol has reached approximately 81 million tons per year and will increase steadily in step with gross domestic product growth.
Methanol is a basic chemical that is a prominent raw material in the production of many downstream products. Its applications include adhesives, agricultural chemicals, paints, plastics and synthetic textiles. In recent years, it has been garnering more attention as an alternative to heavy fuel oil in the shipping industry and as an otherwise environmentally-friendly source of energy.
In addition to its use in aerosol products and other daily goods, it can serve as an alternative to liquefied petroleum gas and diesel fuel for automobiles and power generation.
Established in March 2013, CGCL completed construction in the same year. The company’s plant in Trinidad and Tobago, which began operating commercially on December 18, 2020, has an annual production capacity of one million tons of methanol and 20,000 tons of DME, fuelled primarily by natural gas.