NWIW Statement on Kalama Facility

NW Innovation Works’ (NWIW) commitment to creating jobs, investing in community and confronting climate change by producing methanol at the Kalama facility for use in materials production in China has been consistent from the very beginning.  

There are multiple ways that low carbon methanol could conceivably be used to lower global greenhouse gas emissions, including for materials where carbon is captured, and for fuels where carbon is released, displacing fuels with higher carbon content. NWIW will continue to explore all pathways to reduce global carbon emissions, but its commitment has been and will be the same in Kalama.  NWIW is building the Kalama methanol plant exclusively for materials production, where the greatest global greenhouse gas reduction is achievable. This methanol to materials pathway can eliminate ten to nearly one-hundred times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions as the Puget Sound’s recently passed Sound Transit 3 (ST3) transportation project.

Asia, and China in particular, is the world’s largest consumer of methanol, with 70% of China’s methanol derived from coal.  NWIW’s Kalama facility is focused on providing an economically viable alternative to coal-based methanol production for use in materials production in an environmentally sound way – redefining manufacturing standards for innovation and environmental sustainability for Washington State. 

In addition to making a positive global impact, NWIW will be the first facility along the Columbia River investing in Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) technology, eliminating the discharge of all facility wastewater. We also are the first to utilize Ultra Low Emissions (ULE) technology at this scale, modeling new best practices for sustainable industrial development.  Additionally, NWIW has voluntarily agreed to mitigate 100% of all GHG emissions occurring within Washington, setting a new standard. NWIW will continue to consider and pursue other opportunities to produce the lowest carbon-intensive materials in the world.

Recently, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) published a story citing PowerPoint slides produced for an investor presentation.  The presentation provided a comprehensive overview of potential markets for methanol, which includes products that are not the focus of the Kalama facility.  The story tries to cast doubt on the integrity of NWIW’s commitment to materials production. NWIW’s Kalama facility is working with regulators and entering into long-term materials pathway contracts in furtherance of its commitment that its product is used exclusively for materials production.

NWIW is investing in a rural community to build an industrial facility that is generations ahead of any other facility in the world, setting new standards for industrial development, reducing impacts associated with methanol production, and contributing to building the demand for responsibly sourced consumer products that make a positive contribution to confronting climate change.

Please join us in making this positive change at the local, state, and global level.   Please visit our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and know that the only way to confront climate change in a real way is to put people to work, making a difference both locally and globally.