9 Oct 2008

Methanol production resumes

2:39 pm on 9 October 2008

The first methanol to be produced at Motonui in four years is now coming from a Methanex New Zealand plant there.

The company announced on Thursday that a plant at Motunui with a capacity of 900,000 tonnes per year, has been successfully re-started. It says production began last week.

Methanex is a Canadian company that stopped methanol production at Motunui in 2004 amid worries over supplies of natural gas.

Radio New Zealand's energy reporter says rising prices for methanol worldwide have enabled Methanex to outbid other contenders for natural gas by paying more for the raw material.

This process has been assisted by new discoveries of natural gas.

Methanex plans to produce methanol at Motunui until the end of 2009.