Yima JV's China facility begins methanol production


The Yima Joint Venture (JV) facility at the $4bn Maozhuang Industrial Park in Henan Province, China, has commenced with methanol production.

"On successful completion of the phase one plant, the JV is planning to begin two additional phases of coal gasification projects."

The coal-to-methanol facility forms part of phase one of the joint venture project between China-based Yima Coal Industry Group and Synthesis Energy Systems (SES).

The plant, which uses SES's patented and proprietary gasification technologies, is likely to convert around 2,400tpd of high ash Yima coal into 300,000tpy of refined methanol on reaching its full capacity later in 2013.

The $250m plant is expected to achieve its full capacity once the JV completes all remaining commissioning and start-up processes during the first half of 2013.

Synthesis Energy Systems president and CEO Robert Rigdon said Yima JV generated the first methanol production by the end of 2012, as planned.

"This project represents a significant accomplishment for SES and is expected to generate meaningful cash flows for the company," Rigdon added.

"We expect the Yima Joint Venture to quickly ramp up methanol production rates and sales this year in order to achieve sustainable full capacity production levels.

"We believe the production of methanol will be a major catalyst for further commercialisation of our technology and enable us to realise the value of the significant pipeline of Chinese and global opportunities we have built over the past three years, while this project has been under construction."

On successful completion of the phase one plant, the JV is planning to begin two additional phases of coal gasification projects at the same industrial park.

Phase two is likely to add additional capacity of 300,000tpa of refined methanol or methanol equivalent products, while phase three is expected to add additional capacity of 600,000tpa of refined methanol or methanol equivalent products, according to SES.