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Floating Methanol Plant Could Play Shortage Role

Floating Methanol Plant Could Play Role in U.S. Energy World's First Floating Methanol Plant Could Play Role in Alleviating U.S. Energy Shortage

HOUSTON, Texas, July 29 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

Floating Large-Scale Fuel-Grade Methanol Plant Designed to Capture 'Stranded Gas'

PetroWorld, along with three international partners, on July 16 announced that they are developing the world's first floating large-scale, fuel-grade methanol plant designed to extract natural gas from reserves in remote areas and convert it on board into liquid methanol at a rate of 12,000-15,000 tons of output per day.

A primary market for the product is certain gas turbine power plants in the U.S., where methanol would be an advantageous alternative fuel. The $700 million plant will be deployed off Africa's west coast about three years from the date that project details and financing are finalized.

The partnership hopes to develop and deploy additional plants in appropriate maritime locations around the world that have "stranded gas." Unlike oil, liquid methanol can be produced and sold at a less volatile price, which is good news for U.S. power companies currently at the mercy of fluctuating oil and gas prices. Background on "Stranded Gas" The world's proven natural gas reserves are in excess of 5,000 trillion cubic feet, which is enough to satisfying one-third of total world oil demand for 35 years. However, half of these gas reserves are "stranded," meaning they are located off the shores of countries where it is uneconomical to build liquid natural gas (LNG) facilities on shore, not to mention the cost of transportation in specially refrigerated tankers (since no pipeline system exists). The floating methanol plant is ideal

-- it eliminates any on-shore investments and liquid methanol can be transported in ordinary tankers. The princ!ipal challenge was developing a cost-efficient methanol plant that would fit on a vessel, which was accomplished by Starchem Technologies, Foster Wheeler Power Systems and Waller Marine.

About the Partners

The world's first floating methanol plant is being jointly developed by PetroWorld Limited (a 50-50 joint venture between PetroSA, the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa Ltd. and Transworld Exploration Ltd., part of the Transworld Group of Companies), Perryville, New Jersey-based Foster Wheeler Power Systems Inc., Houston-based Starchem Technologies International Ltd. and Houston-based Waller Marine Inc.

SOURCE: PetroWorld Limited; Transworld Oil U.S.A., Inc. CONTACT: Bader Metouri of Transworld Oil U.S.A., Inc. +1-713-428-7881 or

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