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Kalama methanol plant asks for second construction permit extension
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Kalama methanol plant asks for second construction permit extension

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Methanol plant site

A vacant property at Port of Kalama adjoining the Steelscape is the site of a proposed $2 billion methanol plant.

Northwest Innovation Works has requested another extension to its Southwest Clean Air Agency discharge permit, as construction on the 90-acre methanol plant has not yet started.

Northwest Innovation Works Kalama asked for an 18-month extension to its Air Discharge Permit, ADP 16-3204 on Feb. 23. The permit was issued June 7, 2017 and originally expired Dec. 7, 2018.

SWCAA extended the expiration date to March 4, 2021, and now is proposing moving the expiration date to Sept. 4, 2022.

“NWIW’s intention is to promptly commence construction of the facility as soon as necessary permits and approvals are obtained,” the notice of extension said.

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Public comments are due by March 23 and can be emailed to Wess@swcleanair.org.

The plant would produce up to 10,000 metric tons of AA grade methanol per day, or 3.6 million metric tons per year, to be used in plastics manufacturing in China.

First proposed in 2014, the $2.3 billion plant has been tied up in permitting since then.

A federal court in November vacated the federal Clean Water Act permits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved in April 2019, sending the project back to the Corps for review.

The state Department of Ecology denied the project’s shoreline conditional use permit, which Northwest Innovations has appealed. A hearing of the appeal before the Shorelines Hearings Board will likely occur in summer 2021.

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