Mexinol’s subsidiary in Mexico, Pacífico de Mexinol, is set to invest more than US$468.3 million to build a new methanol plant in the port of Topolobampo in Ahome, Sinaloa. The plant will produce up to 5,000t/d of methanol to sell in Mexico or export to Asia.
Mexinol plans to construct the new plant near an existing pipeline and other infrastructure where it will process the natural gas produced in Texas, which will be initially exported to Southeast Asia and then sold to the Mexican market. The company also said that this project will generate up to 3,000 jobs for the local community during the construction phase and approximately 400 permanent jobs once operations start.
Mexinol said the project will comply with relevant ethical and sustainability benchmarks. For example, the company aims to use technology to minimize emissions and water consumption, as well as to create a minimum amount of solid waste and wastewater. A key strategy in this regard will be utilizing a new water-based solution that will feed off wastewater in order to treat and recycle it, providing an alternative to the use of seawater and the later discharge of wastewater into the Bay of Ohuira.
Accordingly, Mexinol is considering the project’s potential environmental throughout its life cycle and plans to provide continuous environmental monitoring along with several other measures to ensure that this plant meets international standards. Moreover, although Mexinol’s project was expected to begin the construction phase in early 2022 and operations in 2025, the company has yet to provide all the necessary government paperwork to finalize the preconstruction phase, such as the Environmental Impact Assessment (MIA).
Mexinol previously justified the development in Sinaloa by pointing toward the growing demand for methanol worldwide. Methanol’s market share and production capacity are expected to increase by 4.3 percent annually for the next ten years, reported by Revista Espejo.
Bernardo Cárdenas Soto, Minister of Economic Development of Ahome, explained that the company has already engaged in conversations with several parties involved in the project’s development, including the state’s Governor, Francisco Durazo Montaño, the Mayor of Ahome, Gerardo Vargas, the Ministry of Economy of Sinaloa, Javier Gaxiola and himself.
The project’s area has been the site of several disputes between local communities and private companies that intend to develop similar projects. One such case was GPO’s project for a fertilizer plant, which concluded in SEMARNAT denying permits unless GPO arranged public consultations with the local communities. Regarding the matter, Cárdenas added that the company negotiated with the local communities, some of them of Indigenous ethnicity, and is currently working to provide the MIA to finally start construction.