ADNOC and Proman Plan UAE’s First Methanol Plant

11.03.2022 - Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and leading methanol producer Proman have signed an agreement to develop the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first world-scale methanol plant. The facility will be located at the Ta’ziz Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, and capable of producing up to 1.8 million t/y.

“Growing global interest in methanol as a cleaner fuel, particularly for the shipping sector, is set to drive a significant increase in worldwide methanol demand over the coming decade. As such, this is a particularly opportune time to invest in the UAE’s domestic downstream production capacity,” said Proman’s chief executive David Cassidy. “We are excited to help drive forward the ambitious Ta’ziz industrial development and the UAE’s downstream growth strategy, as well as growing our partnership with Ta’ziz in the future.”

Methanol is a key chemical building block with a wide range of industrial applications, such as fuels, adhesives, solvents, pharmaceuticals and construction materials. Growth is expected to be driven by emerging economies in Africa and Asia, while production in the UAE will reduce the country’s dependence on imports.

A joint venture between ADNOC and Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding group ADQ, Ta’ziz comprises three zones – one for industrial chemicals, one for downstream conversion industries and one that will provide the necessary services, both for the industrial zones and the wider Ruwais complex.

Ta’ziz launched in November 2020 and several partnerships have already been agreed to set up production facilities. A low-carbon ammonia plant will be developed by Fertiglobe, GS Energy and Mitsui, while Reliance Industries is planning a chlor-alkali, ethylene dichloride and PVC complex. Final investment decisions on the chemical projects are expected to be taken later this year.

ADNOC added that eight UAE-based investors have also signed investment agreements for up to a 20% stake in a portfolio of chemical projects within the Ta’ziz Industrial Chemicals Zone, marking the first domestic Public Private Partnership in Abu Dhabi’s petrochemicals and downstream sectors.

Another agreement was signed last November with AD Ports Group to establish a new port and logistics facility at Ta’ziz. The port will include three large-scale berths – two for liquids and one for dry bulk – along with associated infrastructure, as well as loading/unloading facilities. There will also be a tank farm with 10 product tanks and one feedstock storage tank.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist