Environmental Geomembrane Upgrade - Methanex Plant Restart

LOCATION: Medicine Hat, AB TIMEFRAME: August 2010 – July 2011 SCOPE OF WORK: Enviro Liner & Non Woven Geotextile within Tankfarms, Water Ponds, Wastewater Ponds and Rail Track Loading Containment PROJECT PARTNERS Owner/Client: Methanex Corporation Installation: Layfield Environmental Material supplier: Layfield Environmental

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Methanex announced plans to restart their 470,000 tonnes per year methanol plant in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada with an expected date for start-up in April 2011. The plant has been idle since 2001; therefore Methanex is incorporating several environmental improvements into the project.

This involved the use of geomembrane under nine tank pads, a raw water pond, two wastewater ponds, a storm runoff pond, a rail track containment area, and tank farm containment (approximately 85,000 m2).

Restarting an idled plant was quite challenging for Methanex, and the project included an aggressive time frame imposed to complete all containment areas. Work began in August 2010 under the large tank pads and certain containment areas were required to progress through harsh winter conditions.

Methanex partnered with Layfield for the installation of secondary containment on all containment areas, including design assistance and recommendations.


Enviro Liner® 4030 was selected for the tank farm areas, primarily due to the chemical resistance to methanol, but also because it could be prefabricated into large panels. Enviro Liner 6000 series was selected for the exposed raw water, wastewater and storm ponds due to the UV resistance and also because it could be prefabricated into large panels.

There was ongoing design assistance with the various containment areas, considering chemical resistance, UV resistance, fast-track timeframes (prefabricated panels), backfilling portions of the work. Layfield worked closely with the project stakeholders in recommending materials and design details that would work in each application.
The construction window for each containment area seemed to come up quickly, not leaving much time to procure/fabricate materials and plan each project. The Layfield project management team worked closely with Methanex in accommodating these tight schedules. In addition, portions of the work had to be completed in the heart of Alberta winter. This brought unique challenges with proper sub grade preparation, anchor trench excavation, and more stringent quality control measures. The teams involved worked hard through difficult conditions to meet project schedules.


As of the end of May 2011, all containment areas have been completed with the exception of the tank farm areas. Heavy rains in southern Alberta have delayed sub grade preparation and threatening project completion . Layfield continues to work closely with Methanex, with hopes of double-staffing our field crew to expedite completion of these tank farm areas by June 30, 2011. Layfield is one of the few (if not the only) Canadian geomembrane company with the ability to double a field crew up to sixteen personnel on short notice to help a client with fast-tracking a liner installation schedule.

Customer testimonial: “On a scale of 0-10, I would give Layfield a 9 on both engineering support and field execution. Given the service offered to date in the areas of design support, detailed engineering, and field installation I would highly recommend Layfield for anyone requiring this type of service.”