Overview

NWIW is proposing a facility at the Port of Kalama, Washington to convert natural gas to methanol. The facility will generate full-time jobs and local revenue while protecting our environment. During construction, the facility will employ 1000 workers. Once operational, the facility will employ approximately 200 full-time managers and workers at family wages plus benefits. NWIW selected this site because Cowlitz County designated it for heavy industrial use, it is large enough to support the facility, and water and natural gas are available on or near the site. The site is located in an industrial park owned by the Port and nearby Port tenants include a manufacturing plant and other industrial facilities.

Click here to view the proposed facility

The State of Washington reviews the environmental effects of proposals for manufacturing plants and the effects of this facility are in the middle of this process, which is carried out through a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) environmental impact statement (EIS). The Draft EIS was released for public review on March 3, 2016. The public comment period ended on April 18, 2016 and the Final EIS is being completed by Cowlitz County and the Port of Kalama.

Additional information about the EIS process is available on the Kalama SEPA website.


Working with the Community

NWIW is part of the local community. We live close by, work here, and, like any good neighbor, pay attention to the needs and concerns of our neighbors. We are working closely with the Port of Kalama, City of Kalama, Cowlitz County, and the Cowlitz County Fire District as well as the surrounding communities to address community concerns and develop a facility that will support the local economy safely. We will continue to answer questions and address any concerns that may arise during permitting, design, and construction.

If you would like to receive regular updates about the proposed facility at Port of Kalama or have questions, please send an email to info@nw-iw.com or call 360-673-7800.


Permitting

The development of this facility will require multiple local, state, and federal permits and approvals. A list of required permits is included in Chatper 1 of the Final EIS. The first step in developing the environmental impact statement (EIS) occurred in 2014, when the scope of the EIS was determined. Scoping included a public comment period and a public meeting. During scoping, the Port and the County decided on the aspects of the environment that would be addressed in the EIS. The Draft EIS was released for public review on March 3, 2016. The public comment period ended on April 18, 2016. The Final EIS is being completed by Cowlitz County and the Port of Kalama.

Click here to view the project schedule.

For more information about the EIS process, please visit the Kalama SEPA website.


Frequently Asked Questions

Key information about NWIW Kalama

Below is a brief summary of frequently asked questions.  Please download our project summary for more detailed information  If you do not find answers to your questions in the FAQ, please contact us for the information you need.

What is methanol and why do we need it?

Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, is a clear, colorless liquid. It is found naturally at low concentrations in some fruits and vegetables, but is produced for commercial and industrial uses from natural gas or coal. Methanol is biodegradable and non-carcinogenic, but it is poisonous to humans if ingested or absorbed in more than small amounts. Methanol is used in many consumer and industrial products but is used primarily to make materials that are used to produce medical equipment, cell phones, car and bike parts, wind turbines and solar panels.

What are the economic benefits of the project?

  Economic benefits during construction

  • $1.8 billion total project cost
  • Approximately $660 million in local spending on construction labor, goods, and services
  • $625.9 million in direct economic impact during construction
  • Approximately 1000 peak construction jobs
  • $57.9 million in state and local taxes

   Economic benefits during operations

  • 688 total jobs during operations, including 192 direct jobs and 496 indirect and induced jobs
  • $21 million in annual payroll for direct jobs
  • Estimated $30 to $40 million in annual tax payments to state and local authorities

*Analysis performed by ECONorthwest

What are the emissions from this project?

Almost all of the air emissions from the plant would result from the combustion of natural gas necessary for certain aspects of the process. The most significant emissions would be greenhouse gases (GHG). Smaller amounts of air pollutants also would be emitted. Washington’s requirements for preserving air quality are among the strictest in the nation, and these pollutants are subject to federal regulations as well. NWIW is committed to meeting all local, state, and federal air quality requirements. .

What are the effects to local rivers, streams and other bodies of water?

The Draft EIS found that the project would not result in significant adverse impacts to water resources. The only wastewater discharged directly to the Columbia River would be cooling water that would be treated to state water quality standards and cooled to 20 degrees Celsius (the ambient water quality standard for the Columbia River) before discharge. Stormwater generated from the production process areas would be treated before being disposed of through infiltration – no stormwater would be discharged directly into the Columbia River.

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