Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has announced its plans to invest in Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW), Kalama, Washington, US.

MOL will also supply and operate purpose-built ships to serve the Port of Kalama’s planned methanol facility.

The facility in Kalama is expected to convert natural gas, which is regionally sourced into methanol and will be transported via ship.

The methanol will be used in the production of a dedicated materials pathway in Asia. It will be used to produce materials such as olefins that are used in medical devices, recreational equipment and clothing.

MOL has a fleet of 740 ships, which has a total capacity of approximately 55,000,000 deadweight tonnes. It is said to be one of the largest shipping companies and methanol carriers in the world.

In a statement, MOL said: “Partnering with NWIW at an early stage places MOL in the best position to provide safe operation, service and solutions with the aim of achieving the highest levels of environmental benefits.

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“By participating in this project, MOL will obtain a deeper knowledge of overall methanol activities, allowing the company to provide better services and solutions for its customers.”

The announcement will aid the mission of NWIW to produce the ‘most environmentally sustainable and least carbon-intensive industrial-scale methanol’.

The methanol provided by NWIW will replace the coal-based carbon-intensive methanol, which will result in greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions around the world.

MOL will provide an investment of over $2bn, which will lead to the generation of over 1,000 construction jobs and over 200 direct and permanent family-wage jobs.