Methanol plant set to open in 2014 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Methanol plant set to open in 2014

Pampa, TX - The city of Pampa is set to receive a welcome windfall that's been a long time in the making.

Earlier this afternoon (Jan. 18), city officials from Pampa broke ground on an upcoming expansion that will re-open the Celanese plant as early as next spring.  And that means new jobs and new revenue are on the way.

The Celanese plant was one of Pampa's major employers until it shut down in 2009, contributing to an economic downturn for the city.  Now after lying dormant for three years, the plant is slated to open its doors once again.

Pampa Fuels and another company called G2X will re-purpose the plant as a methanol production facility.  The plant is expected to create 146 jobs and millions in economic activity for Pampa, and city officials say their community stands to gain not just new income, but also new people.

City Manager Richard Morris says the incoming population is as welcome as the jobs themselves, saying, "When you look at those jobs, there's probably going to be family involved, so you've got another three or four members, plus all the support people that are going to be bringing the product in and taking the product out; it's just going to be a real boon to our community."

Methanol is a widely used and heavily traded chemical that's used in manufacturing, fuel processing, wastewater treatment, and hydraulic fracturing.  And the viability of methanol as a commodity means the plant will most likely always be in business, meaning it will be full of Pampa residents rather than itinerant workers.

"Instead of just coming in and out, we would have people that would not only be active in our community, but also children in our school system," says Morris."And so we're excited about that too."

Construction has already begun and is scheduled to begin operations in May of 2014.

If you'd like to learn more about Pampa Fuels and G2X, or about methanol itself, follow the links attached to this story.

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