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Methanol production in China started from 1957. In 1950's, in Jilin, Lanzhou, Taiyuan, etc., methanol plants by using coal or coke as feed stock have been established. Since 1950's, the methanol production flow by using natural gas as feed stock has been widely used. After entering 1960's, the methanol plants by using heavy oil as feed stock has been developed, and some medium and small sized plants has been built up. Besides, co-production method is used on the basis of synthetic ammonia industry for methanol production.
Coal reserves in China are far larger than petroleum and gas reserves. Therefore, under the background of re-enforcing coal clean utilization technology, since 1990's, coal has become the most important feed stock for methanol production in China. In December 1995, successful operation of 200kt/a coal to methanol plant in Shanghai symbolized a new step towards large capacity production of methanol technology in China. Along with the market demand of methanol, plant capacity continues to increase. Now several 600 kt/a coal to methanol plants are in long term stable operation. In recent years, along with continuous development of methanol to olefin projects, super large scale methanol projects have emerged. For the moment, several 1800kt/a methanol plants are in stable operation. Meanwhile, several projects of similar capacity are under construction or prepared to construct.
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