Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is investing in Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW), a company producing methanol that is constructing a clean-technology facility at the Port of Kalama in southwest Washington, USA. MOL will also provide and operate purpose-built ships to serve the planned methanol facility.
The Kalama facility will convert regionally sourced natural gas to methanol to be transported via ship for use in dedicated materials production in Asia, including olefins, the primary components in numerous products, including medical devices, such as masks, gowns, gloves, and eye protection, recreational equipment, clothing, cell phones, and furniture, among many other applications.
The NWIW methanol, which the company says is the least carbon intensive industrial-scale methanol on market, will displace more carbon-intensive coal-based methanol, resulting in GHG reductions globally. In addition, NWIW will offset one hundred percent of its GHG emissions from both direct and indirect sources within Washington State.
Beyond these and other environmental highlights, including using ultra-low-emissions and zero liquid discharge technologies, the facility will contribute substantial economic benefits to the local economy.
The US$2 billion planned facility will result in over 1,000 new construction jobs and up to 200 permanent direct family-wage jobs, as well as providing $30 to $40 million in annual tax payments paid to state and local governments.
Having over 740 ships in its fleet with a capacity of nearly 55,000,000 deadweight tons, MOL is one of the world’s largest shipping companies and methanol carriers.