Advocate staff report Apr 12, 2017 – 8:52 am
The $800 million in financing for Yuhuang Chemical Inc.’s St. James Parish methanol project marked the first time a U.S.-based construction project has been financed by a syndicate composed entirely of Chinese banks.
The unique financing is the latest in a series of firsts for the planned methane-to-methanol complex, which when completed will be able to produce nearly 2 million tons of methanol a year. The St. James facility is Yuhuang’s first United States project. Bank of China, which led the syndicate, said the complex is also the first private-company construction project financing the bank has led in the United States.
Methanol is used in making hundreds of chemicals, resins, glues and plastics. It also is used in wastewater treatment and can be used as an alternative to gasoline.
Yuhuang began clearing the site for its complex in January, and construction is now underway. Production is expected sometime in late 2019. The complex will be built in three phases and require more than $1.85 billion in investment. The project is expected to create more than 100 permanent jobs and 1,000 construction jobs.