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Shale-Gas Boom Spurs Chilean Methanol Plant’s Move to U.S.

Methanex Corp., the world’s biggest methanol maker, plans to dismantle an idled Chilean factory and ship it to Louisiana where it will be reassembled to capitalize on the lowest U.S. natural-gas prices in almost a decade.

Engineering at the new site in Geismar has begun and the plant should be operational in the second half of 2014, the Vancouver-based company said yesterday in a statement. Methanex is developing cost estimates for the project and will make a final investment decision in the third quarter, Jason Chesko, a spokesman for Methanex, said today by telephone.