July 5, 2012 / 1:58 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Methanex restarts second plant in New Zealand

* Second plant to add 650,000 tonnes capacity per year

* Total Motunui capacity to be 1.5 mln tonnes per year

July 5 (Reuters) - Methanex Corp said on Thursday it restarted its second methanol plant at its Motunui site in New Zealand and production commenced this week.

Vancouver-based Methanex, the world’s largest methanol supplier and distributor, said the second plant would raise capacity by 650,000 tonnes per year and increase the Motunui site capacity to 1.5 million tonnes per year.

“The plant adds a competitive new supply source for our customers in the fast-growing Asian markets,” Methanex Chief Executive Bruce Atiken said.

The company earlier this year said it would cost $60 million to restart the plant.

Methanex, which has been grappling with plant outages, had to shut down its Egypt plant for about three weeks in November 2011. It had also idled three of its four plants in Chile following curtailment of natural gas supply from Argentina.

The company, which has two production units in Motunui, restarted its first plant in 2008 after being idled in 2004 due to limited gas availability.

Shares of the company were trading flat at C$28.72 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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