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Primus to launch second North American methanol plant

June 21, 2016 – Primus Green Energy, Inc., a gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology and commercial solutions company, plans to develop and deliver a 160 MT per day methanol plant to an operating site in Alberta.  


June 21, 2016
By Brandi Cowen


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Primus has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with an Alberta-based capital and operating partner. Production of methanol from the plant will begin in the first quarter of 2018 for regional distribution. The methanol produced will be utilized by Alberta’s natural gas industry – primarily by natural gas producers and processors in the Montney and Duvernay natural gas fields.

Adhering to the company’s local production strategy, the standardized modular GTL system will convert low-cost feedstock from Alberta natural gas fields into methanol, thus saving natural gas producers and processors in the region on production and transportation costs of methanol, while also improving the value of the natural gas feedstock. As a result, the systems are cost-competitive with large-scale world-class methanol plants.

In addition to its Marcellus plant announced earlier this year, Primus plans to deliver up to three additional methanol plants in North American regional markets with capacities ranging from 160 MT per day to 640 MT per day, all of which will follow its low-cost standardized design and facilitate local production.

“We are excited to bring our technology to the two most prolific natural gas basins in North America: the Marcellus/Utica in the United States and the Montney/Duvernay in Canada,” said George Boyajian, chief commercial officer of Primus Green Energy. “This project represents the expansion of Primus’ distributed methanol production strategy in North America, delivering a high-quality product for regional clients and utilizing Alberta’s large supply of cost-advantaged natural gas. Our technology allows for the reduction of transportation costs while providing the natural gas industry in Alberta with a stable and locally-responsive supply of methanol.”

Primus has applied to Alberta Energy’s Petrochemicals Diversification Program (AEPDP) to effectively reduce feedstock costs and increase the overall economic viability of its project, while providing lower cost methanol to Alberta consumers. Boyajian added: “Royalty credits are an important incentive as we make a final investment decision and will affect the final location decision of our methanol plant.”

Primus’ STG+ technology can use a range of natural gas feedstocks, including wellhead and pipeline gas, dry or wet associated gas, “stranded” ethane, excess syngas from underutilized reformers or mixed natural gas liquids. The systems’ stranded and associated gas applications offer an ideal solution to the lack of traditional natural gas pipeline infrastructure in remote locations, enabling the monetization of gas that would otherwise be stranded or flared. The low-cost, modular systems can be trucked in and assembled onsite for easy deployment.

The STG+ methanol and gasoline solutions are being developed in multiple projects across North America, Asia and the Middle East. By comparison with other GTL technologies, the process holds many key advantages, including record low capital and operating costs, high liquid product quality, zero wastewater, unmatched process simplicity and one of the best conversion yields on the market. These advantages result in STG+ technology being uniquely economical at all scales, starting at as small as 100,000 Nm3 (5 million scf) per day of feed gas.