Methanol Data

methanolPain Point: Global Methanol Demand

Methanol demand forecast to double to 106 MMT in 2023

  • It took 90 years to build 59.5MM metric tons of methanol production
  • Demand 2023 exceeds 106 MM Metric Tons
  • Almost all growth is driven by China/ Northeast Asia
  • Chinese Methanol to Olefins (MTO) State Mandate the major driver










Overall Methanol Supply/Demand Balance

Both additional capacity and improved operating rates are needed to meet future global demand

  • Between 2013 and 2023, China must grow imports from 5-22 MM tons per year
  • Poor operating rates in predominately small Chinese coal fed methanol plants keep global averages low.

—This global operating rate is forecast to improve from 61% in 2013 to 74% in 2023 as more gas-fired mega plants are built

  • IGP US natural gas plant forecast to operate at 95+% rate










Global Demand by Market Segment

China will continue to be the fastest-growing of the major methanol markets through the forecast period for several reasons: (1) continued growth in formaldehyde demand, (2) the construction of new world-scale methanol-based acetic acid facilities totaling six million metric tons, (3) growth in direct blending of methanol into the gasoline pool and (4) newly planned MTO/MTP capacity.












Through the forecast period, overall methanol demand is increasing by significant levels—from an estimated demand of 59 million metric tons in 2013 to over 105 million metric tons in 2023. China alone will account for more than 36 million metric tons of demand growth, or an astounding 78% of the global increase in methanol demand.

The newer derivatives—gasoline blending, DME, MTO/MTP—and strong growth in other fuel targeting applications are changing the “palette” of the methanol demand slate. In 2013, the long standing traditional derivatives—formaldehyde, MTBE and acetic acid—still represent the bulk of the core, but will likely grow at rates at or close to GDP levels.

Currently, there are four MTO/MTP facilities in China taking center stage, while other projects are advancing toward completion. The successful operation of the first CTO project has ignited a tremendous enthusiasm for further such projects in China. Fourteen to fifteen facilities are expected to be operational by 2016. IGP’s partner’s phase 1 MTO plant begins operations at the end of this year and phase 2 comes online in 2018. The MTO/MTP sector is projected to grow from just under 1 million metric tons in 2013 to almost 11 million metric tons in 2023, experiencing a 27% annual growth rate.

IGP is partnered with one of these facilities with our planned opening coinciding with their MTO plant opening.

Image Source: IHS Global Methanol Report 2014


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