Developer drops plans for methanol plant in Washington

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A China-backed consortium has canceled plans to build a $3.4 billion methanol plant in Washington state.

Northwest Innovation Works said Tuesday that it is ending its lease with the Port of Tacoma. The company had proposed building a facility to convert natural gas to methanol at the site of a former aluminum smelter.

The company says it decided to terminate the lease in part because developing that site for industrial use would take longer than anticipated. It also says there wasn't enough time under the lease to complete an environmental review by April 30.

In February, the company put the project on hold, saying it has been surprised by vocal opposition.

The company says it is still committed to building two other methanol plants in Washington and Oregon.