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Methanex Receives Final Report On New Zealand Gas Contract Re-Determination

February 06, 2003

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--The Maui natural gas field has historically been the primary gas supply source for Methanex's New Zealand plants. A contractual process initiated in December 2001 to re-determine the economically recoverable natural gas reserves of the Maui field is now complete. The independent expert, who was appointed by the parties to the Maui gas contract, has released a final determination report and based on this report Methanex will lose substantially all of its remaining contractual natural gas entitlements from the Maui field. Methanex and its advisors are currently studying the report and considering the various courses of action that Methanex could take with respect to the re-determination process.

Based on the results of the final determination report, which take effect immediately, Methanex has sufficient contracted gas entitlements from all sources to produce a total of 800,000 tonnes of methanol. To supplement contracted entitlements, Methanex is continuing to pursue acquisitions of additional gas for the New Zealand plants and expects that it will produce approximately one million tonnes in 2003.

Mr. Pierre Choquette, Methanex's President and CEO commented, "The loss of a significant portion of our production capacity, in a global market that is already well balanced, may lead to a tighter supply/demand balance for methanol and an extension of the period of strong prices. We will work with our long-term contractual customers in Asia-Pacific to minimize the impact of reduced production from our New Zealand plants." Mr. Choquette added, "We believe that the impact in 2003 of a shortfall in production in New Zealand is manageable. We have a number of alternative global supply sources including our plants in Chile and Kitimat as well as the option of restarting one of our idled facilities in North America. We are also continuing to pursue additional gas from other sources in New Zealand. The Atlas facility in Trinidad, in which we have a 63.1% interest, is scheduled for start-up in early 2004 adding 1 million tonnes per year to our available global production capacity. And in early 2005, we are scheduled to add an additional 840,000 tonnes per year of low cost production following our expansion in Chile." Mr. Choquette continued, "We are also taking steps to protect our Asian market position for the longer-term by developing a potential project in Australia that would be a major supply source for our Asian customer base."

Methanex is the world's largest producer and marketer of methanol. Methanex shares are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada under the trading symbol "MX" and on the Nasdaq National Market in the United States under the trading symbol "MEOH." Methanex can be visited online at

Information in this news release may contain forward-looking statements. By their nature, such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. They include conditions in the methanol and other industries, including fluctuations in methanol price levels and the supply and demand balance for methanol; the outcome of any actions or steps that may be taken by us or others with respect to the independent expert's final determination of the economically recoverable reserves from the Maui gas field; our ability to undertake and successfully complete the methanol production projects and to contract additional natural gas for our New Zealand facilities. Please also refer to page 28 in our 2001 Annual Report for more information on forward-looking statements.


Methanex Corporation
Chris Cook
Manager, Investor Relations
(604) 661-2600


Methanex Corporation
Brad Boyd
Corporate Controller and Director, Investor Relations
(604) 661-2600
Toll-Free: 1-800-661-8851