From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Chilean islet of a similar name, see Motu Nui.
Motunui is located in Taranaki Region
Coordinates: 38°59′43″S 174°17′44″E / 38.99528°S 174.29556°E / -38.99528; 174.29556
Country New Zealand
Region Taranaki
District New Plymouth District

Motunui (large island in Maori, from Motu Nui) is a settlement in northern Taranaki, in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located on State Highway 3 close to the shore of the North Taranaki Bight, six kilometres east of Waitara.

Methanol plant[edit]

Motunui is the location of the Motunui methanol plant, the largest in the world at the time of construction.[1] It was opened in 1986 to convert natural gas to methanol and the methanol to synthetic petrol using a process developed by Mobil. The plant was one of the Think Big projects of the Third National Government. The process became uneconomic in the late 1990s as a result of falling oil prices, so the synthetic petrol part of the plant was decommissioned, with the production of synthetic petrol ceasing in April 1999.[2] The plant instead produced methanol for export. Production of methanol ceased in 2004 as the approaching depletion of the Maui gas field raised gas prices.[3]

In 2005, an unmanned production station for the new offshore Pohokura oil/gas field was constructed immediately west of the Motunui plant. This began commercial production in September 2006.[4] In 2008, methanol train No.2 was recommissioned followed by train No.1 in 2012.[5]

Currently owned and operated by Methanex, the plant's two trains have a total annual production capacity of 2.4 million tonnes of methanol.[5]


  1. ^ "Motunui Synthetic Fuels Plant". IPENZ Engineering Heritage. Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  2. ^ Energy Data File 2011 (PDF). Wellington: Ministry of Economic Development. 2011. p. 16. 
  3. ^ "Oil and gas - The Māui gas field". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 
  4. ^ "Pohokura". Todd Energy. 
  5. ^ a b "Methanex in New Zealand". Methanex. 13 November 2012. 

Coordinates: 38°59′S 174°18′E / 38.983°S 174.300°E / -38.983; 174.300