Picture for article "Grande Prairie New Methanol Plant Project"

Grande Prairie New Methanol Plant Project

General overlook of Grande Prairie city

Grand Prairie city is located in the northwest part of Alberta in the southern part of the area, known as the Peace River Country. In 2016 it was the seventh-largest city in Alberta with a population of 63,166, and between 2001 and 2006 it was one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada.

Grande Prairie has a diverse economy. Oil and gas are major industries in the city. Some oil and gas drilling has continued in this area since the 1950s, and oil and gas exploration did not begin on a large scale until the late 1970s. In the mid and late 1970s, the Elmworth gas field was discovered and developed as a result of which the city grew rapidly until the last oil boom ended in 1981.

New Methanol Plant Project

Very recently, the Alberta government has announced that Nauticol is going to build a $2 billion methanol plant south of Grande Prairie. This project will include three development phases. They will be capable of producing one million metric tons of methanol per year. Once operational, the facility will use nine million cubic meters of natural gas per day. The Alberta government will support the first phase of the project with up to $80 million in future license fees as part of its "Made in Alberta" energy strategy.

Nauticol has a written agreement with member countries of the Western Cree Tribal Council on potential future investments and development. WCTC consists of the First Nation of Duncan, the First Nation of Horse Lake and Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation.

It is expected that the construction of the first phase will begin in 2020, and a commercial operational date is set for 2022.

CEO of Nauticol Mark Tonner says, "Nauticol is committed to building value-add industry in the Grande Prairie region. This leading-edge facility will create 75,000 people years of employment and adds value to Alberta's abundant natural gas supply". He also adds, "We are really excited about this milestone and what it means in advancing the project, so we couldn't be happier with the region of Grande Prairie."

Methanol Plant Project (picture via Nauticol)
Methanol Plant Project (picture via Nauticol)

According to the province, this project will create 3,000 direct and indirect jobs, including 1,000 direct jobs in construction and 200 permanent jobs.