The Port of Kalama Commissioners enthusiastically voted to allow “right of entry” to their property north of the Steelscape plant, allowing representatives of Northwest Innovation Works to begin examining that site as the location of a new one billion-dollar methanol production plant. Northwest Innovation Works is a Chinese-based venture, intending to produce and export methanol to China, where it would be converted into materials used in other industrial processes. Northwest Innovation Works President “Vee” Godley says this is a perfect location for them…methanol…The process would use natural gas, which would then be made into methanol. That methanol would be taken by ship to China, where it would be made into “olefin,” a material used in a wide variety of applications, including plastics, automotive parts and other items. This project is in its very initial stages, with last night’s vote only dealing with the “right of entry” to the site, to evaluate it and see if it’s suitable for building. Godley says that they’re hoping to be able to break ground by 2015, with a goal of starting production by 2018. The plant would reportedly be able to produce five thousand metric tons of methanol per day, employing 120 people. Construction would reportedly create about a thousand jobs, and Godley says that they’re committed to hiring locally. A similar presentation is being made this afternoon to the Port of St. Helens Commission, for a second methanol production plant that’s targeted for Port Westward near Clatskanie.