A senior energy official announced that Iran is building the largest methanol plant in the world.
“The Kaveh mega methanol project, being implemented in the Persian Gulf city of Bandar Dayyer, is 70 percent complete,” Deputy Head of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) Mohammad Hassan Peyvandi said on Thursday.
The facility is being built to produce two million tons of methanol per annum or 7,000 tons per day.
Peyvandi noted that the first phase of the plant would start production in August, with full operation expected in 2016.
Switzerland’s Casale SA and Iran’s Petrochemical Industries Design and Engineering Company (PIDEC) have contributed to the project.
Iran hopes to raise its methanol production capacity to 25 million tons per year in the next five years and establish itself as the biggest supplier of the product.
Methanol has been tipped as alternative fuel in ships. In 2014, Japan and South Korea won the first orders to build vessels powered by methanol.
The fuel is already used in light aircraft and racing cars and its global demand is rising. Beside being a green fuel, it is cheaper and more abundant than diesel.
It is also preferable to LNG. Unlike liquefied natural gas which has to be super-cooled 162 degrees Celsius below zero for transportation, methanol can be stored in ordinary tanks.