Port of Lake Charles board members on Monday agreed to expand its long-term lease agreement with Big Lake Fuels by adding 58 acres of port property in order to reroute a central drainage ditch directly to the Industrial Canal.

Owned by the Houston-based G2X Energy, Big Lake Fuels currently leases 225 acres of port property on Tank Farm Road, where a gas-to-methanol plant will be built. It will produce 1.75 million tons of methanol annually.

Proman, the Switzerlandbased methanol producer, owns a majority of G2X. Steve Hirsh, Proman senior vice president and global head of development, said the gasto-methanol plant “is a core project for us.” The project has a 3.5-year construction timeline.

“It will be the next project we build to continue our expansion of methanol production in the world,” he said.

The project has been in development since 2013. It broke ground in 2016, but was put on hold to pursue a project in Beaumont, Texas, that was in the middle of construction, Hirsh said.

While the Big Lake Fuels project was on hold, new permits were applied for, which could reduce emissions based on new technology, Hirsh said.

The rerouted 7.7-mile-long ditch will be on the newly leased property and will improve drainage in the area, Hirsh said. The plan calls for lengthening and deepening the new ditch to allow for adequate drainage in the event of a 100-year storm.

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