Kalama Methanol Refinery

Do you want the world’s largest methanol refinery built in your backyard? That is exactly what is being proposed by Northwest Innovation Works (NIW), a Chinese government controlled corporation that wants to build a huge plant in Kalama, Washington to convert methane gas to methanol. The methanol product would then be shipped to China for production of plastics. After being rebuked in Tacoma, NIW has set its sights on Kalama for their refinery which would use enormous quantities of fracked natural gas, setting the scene for major greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to the greenhouse gas emissions, this plant would use millions of gallons of water from the Columbia and Kalama rivers, would seize private property and parts of an historic cemetery, would produce diesel particulate air pollution, would store millions of gallons of flammable methanol on top of land threatened by earthquake, and would require huge tankers to haul the methanol to China and over the Columbia bar. Also, there is the need for dangerous pipelines to be constructed to carry the increased amounts of fracked gas.

This refinery is a huge threat to the people of Kalama, to all of Washington, to Oregon and to the entire nation. We, the people of The Pacific Northwest are defined by our powerful kinship with our natural resources. The beauty of our geography as well as the safety and health of our residents must not be sold out for plastics.

Read More about Methanol in the Pacific Northwest

What You Can Do

  1. Tell Washington Governor Jay Inslee, the Port of Kalama, and the Washington Department of Ecology, to oppose the Kalama methanol refinery: Building the world’s largest natural gas-to-methanol refinery is the wrong direction for our safety, river, climate and private property rights!
  2. Attend the public hearing on Thursday, December 13, 2018, at the Cowlitz County Event Center. Click to RSVP!

Beyond Kalama: Methanol Refineries Mean More Fracked Natural Gas & More Pipelines

Columbia Riverkeeper is collaborating with local residents to oppose the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama. But Riverkeeper is also exposing how these massive methanol refinery proposals would profoundly increase our region’s consumption of fracked gas and drive the construction of massive new gas pipelines into the Pacific Northwest.

Why is fracked gas such a big deal? It is primarily comprised of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane leaks from fracking gas wells and gas pipelines are so severe that scientists have concluded that fracked gas can be as bad for our climate as coal.

The Kalama methanol refinery would use a stunning volume of natural gas; 320 million cubic feet per day, more than all other Washington industry combined! Thus far, the methanol company has not explained how the existing natural gas pipeline system could supply the methanol refinery. But newly released documents from NW Natural explain that the gas company could lease pipeline capacity to the Kalama methanol refinery to “bridge the gap in time between the commencement of methanol plant operation and the in-service date for an upstream infrastructure expansion, say three years.” In other words, a major new natural gas pipeline into the Northwest would be built in the next three years to supply the methanol refinery.