Kalama methanol plant decision delayed

KALAMA, Wash. (AP) — A key permit decision for a methanol project in Kalama, Washington, is on hold after the state Department of Ecology announced it’s pausing its review to ask for more information.

The Daily News reports that Ecology issued a decision Wednesday and is requesting information from Cowlitz County, Northwest Innovation Works and the Port of Kalama regarding the project’s greenhouse gas emissions before it will make a decision on whether or not to issue a shoreline conditional use permit for the project.

Northwest Innovation Works hopes to build the $2 billion project at the Port of Kalama to convert natural gas into methanol for shipment to Asia. Backers say the project would create about 1,000 construction jobs and 200 permanent jobs and generate millions of dollars in local taxes.

Cowlitz County Department of Building and Planning determined in September that the project should get the shoreline permits as previously granted. Ecology then had 30 days to approve or deny the permits or ask for more information.