In late June Mammoet completed the final phase of the Methanex Geismar 2 plant relocation from Punta Arenas, Chile to Geismar, Louisiana. Mammoet was subcontracted by Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (Jacobs) to support the reverse modularization of the plant and to assist in the heavy lifts, heavy haul and transport of the methanol plant over a 5,450 mile distance.
Methanex, the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol, made the decision to relocate a second plant from Chile to Louisiana in 2013. Relocation, as compared to a new-build, offers capital savings and a reduced project timeframe. Mammoet supported Jacobs with the modularization of the originally stick-built facility to ensure compatibility with Mammoet’s equipment and to prepare the modules so they would withstand the harsh environment during transport half way around the world. Mammoet also assisted with the heavy lift, heavy haul and shipping of this second unit and its many heavy components, which had a combined weight of 183,556 tons. Challenges included loading and sea fastening in the Magellan Strait, a treacherous waterway notorious for strong currents and sudden storms, as well as heavy transport over roads and bridges and the offloading in Louisiana, where a custom bridge had to be engineered to cross the Mississippi River levee.
During the course of the project, Mammoet lifted over 350 heavy components and modules and set them up for reassembly. Mammoet also managed sub-contractors, secured permits and maintained full oversight over the transport operation, which included chartering of all ships for the project through Mammoet’s own chartering office. All of the cargo was brought safely into Geismar, Louisiana.