June 14 (Reuters) - OCI Partners LP, formed by construction and fertilizer group OCI NV to own and operate a strategic methanol and ammonia plant in Texas, filed with U.S. regulators to raise up to $480 million in an initial public offering.
OCI, which set up the limited partnership in February, said earlier this month that it would offer a minority interest in the plant through a U.S. IPO in the second half of the year.
The company expects to list its common units on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "OCIP".
The plant in Beaumont on the Texas Gulf Coast has an annual methanol production capacity of about 730,000 metric tons, making the company the largest merchant methanol producer in the United States, according to a preliminary prospectus filed on Friday. ()
Methanol, a liquid petrochemical produced mainly from natural gas and coal, is used in windscreen washer fluid, recyclable plastic bottles, plywood floors and synthetic fibers.
OCI NV is the Dutch-listed parent of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Egypt's biggest traded company, which it is delisting from the Cairo stock exchange.
OCI Partners LP plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to repay debt and finance a debottlenecking project that will increase its annual methanol production by 25 percent and its ammonia production by 15 percent.
The IPO comes at a time when gas prices have slumped due to a boom in shale production that drove supplies to record highs.
BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Citigroup are the lead underwriters to the offering.
The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.