Northwest Innovation Works – Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility

Northwest Innovation Works and the Port of Kalama have applied to build the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility, a facility in Kalama that would turn natural gas into methanol. The facility would be able to produce 10,000 metric tons of methanol a day and would use 320 million cubic feet of natural gas a day. 

New analysis provides greater detail on greenhouse gas emissions from proposed facility

On Sept. 2, 2020, we released a draft Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement focused on fully analyzing greenhouse gas emissions from the proposed Kalama methanol facility. This preliminary analysis also looked at impacts from upstream emissions, such as the greenhouse gases that escape from natural gas wells and pipelines, direct and indirect emissions produced at the facility, downstream emissions from transporting the methanol to its intended destination in Asia, and how the product will be used.

Preliminary report findings

  • The project would increase greenhouse gas emissions within Washington state by almost one million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year. The Kalama facility would be one of the 10 largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Northwest Innovation Works has said that it will mitigate all of the facility’s in-state emissions.  
  • Worldwide demand for methanol is likely to increase in the decades ahead, leading to higher greenhouse gas emissions with or without the Kalama facility.
  • It would lead to methanol being burned as a fuel. Northwest Innovation Works has said all of the methanol from the Kalama facility will be used in plastics production, but increasing methanol supply makes it more likely that more methanol will be used as fuel, regardless of the source.
  • Extracting and transporting the natural gas used to make the methanol could produce higher emissions than previous estimates.
  • Methanol made in Kalama could produce lower greenhouse gas emissions than many competing methanol supplies, from coal or less efficient natural gas sources. This means that global greenhouse gas emissions would increase with the addition of the Kalama facility, but likely less than they might if that demand was met by other sources.
Kalama emissions. Upstream from power & natural gas. At site from construction & use. Downstream from shipping & using in plastics or fuel

Extracting natural gas, facility operations, and downstream shipping and product uses all contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the proposed Kalama methanol facility.

Public comment and hearings

Comment period (closed) — we held a public comment period on the draft SSEIS Sept. 2 through Oct. 9, 2020. We will use the information to make a decision on a shoreline conditional use permit for the project.

Online public hearings

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Gov. Jay Inslee has directed state agencies to conduct public meetings remotely whenever possible.*

Comments are weighted equally whether they are provided during a hearing, mailed, or submitted electronically.

  • Para más información favor de comunicarse con Meg Bommarito al 425-649-7128.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about our decision to undertake additional greenhouse gas analysis for the Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility – Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

Permitting actions

  • Sept. 11, 2019 — Cowlitz County reaffirmed its decision to issue a shoreline conditional use permit for the project.
  • Oct. 9, 2019 — Ecology informed Cowlitz County and the project applicants that we needed additional information by Nov. 7, 2019 to complete our review of the permit.
  • Nov. 4, 2019 — Cowlitz County responded to Ecology's questions.
  • Sept. 2, 2020 – Ecology releases draft Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for public review and comment.

Previously, we issued a 401 water quality certification to Northwest Pipeline to build a 3.1-mile pipeline spur that would deliver natural gas to the facility and a 401 water quality certification to Northwest Innovation Works for the facility itself. The Kalama facility would need a construction stormwater permit before construction could begin, as well as an industrial stormwater permit from us.

Related information

External information