Coal, Gas

Methanex selects Dresser-Rand to provide generation equipment for methanol facility


WELLSVILLE, New York, Nov. 19, 2003 — For the third time in a decade, Methanex Corporation has signed a contract with Dresser-Rand Company to provide power generation equipment for its methanol facility in Puntas Arenas, Chile.

The contract, which calls for a standard multi-stage steam turbine generator package, is part of the third expansion of the facility. When completed in 2005, Plant #4 will increase the facility’s manufacturing capacity by 840,000 tons of methanol per year to a total of more than 3.84 million tons per year, maintaining its status as the largest methanol-producing complex in the world.

Located at the southernmost tip of Chile, the facility went online in 1988, and was acquired in the early 1990s by Methanex Corporation, a Canadian firm based in Vancouver. The facility expanded in 1996 when Plant #2 was completed, and again in 1999 with Plant #3. For Plants #2 and #3 Dresser-Rand provided both centrifugal compression equipment and steam turbine generator sets.

Methanol is a liquid petrochemical that is synthesized under pressure in a catalytic process, usually requiring natural gas as the feedstock. Once distilled to chemical grade, methanol is used in the production of additives for gasoline to reduce emissions. In addition, methanol can be used as fuel for fuel cells or for power generation. It also is used in the production of formaldehyde and other chemicals.

For more than 35 years, D-R has been the world’s leading supplier of compression and steam turbine power generation equipment for methanol and ammonia production.
“Producing methanol is similar to producing ammonia,” said Rick Whinery, D-R’s project development manager. “And the successful history that we’ve established with steam turbine drivers for ammonia, as well as methanol production, is significant.”
The D-R steam turbine equipment for Plant #4 will be manufactured at the company’s facility in Wellsville, New York, and is scheduled to ship in March 2004.
“We’re very pleased to continue our role in the success of the Methanex facility in Puntas Arenas,” Whinery said.

Dresser-Rand is a provider of energy conversion technology, with field-proven centrifugal and reciprocating compressors, steam turbines, expanders, gas turbine packages, and control systems. The company is positioned to deliver a complete package of solutions, from initial concept to equipment retirement for the oil and gas, chemical, and petrochemical industries.

Additional information about the company can be found on its web site at: www.dresser-rand.com.

Dresser-Rand is part of worldwide Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE:IR). Further information on IR can be found on the company’s web site at: www.irco.com.