Eastman Chemical (NYSE: EMN)
PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG)
Celanese Corp. (NYSE: CE)
Methanex (NASDAQ: MEOH)
Methanol Makes Sense as a Fuel Additive in China
China consumes 40% of the global methanol supply and is also the world’s the largest user of methanol as a fuel. While the Chinese government approves its use as an additive to gasoline and even offers some tax incentives to motorists, methanol (unlike ethanol) is economical as an additive without government support or subsidies. Private fuel stations sell methanol blends in eight Chinese provinces today, and several auto manufacturers now make Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) that run on fuel with a high methanol content. Methanol as an additive is particularly appealing to bus and taxi drivers looking to save on their gasoline costs.
According to the China Association of Alcohol and Ether Clean Fuels, 7 million tonnes of methanol were used in fuels in 2011 – a figure expected to double by 2015. Methanol’s cost advantages over ethanol and its ability to reduce CO2 emissions have led to predictions that its use as a transportation fuel will grow to rival its role in the manufacture of building materials and various chemical commodities.