Our Community

Our Mission 

Providing global leadership at an industrial scale to produce the world’s cleanest methanol in order to make everyday materials a part of the global climate solution.


"At Northwest Innovation Works, we’re investing over $2 billion in a clean-technology facility in Kalama, Washington. By reducing greenhouse gases globally and setting new standards for environmentally responsible industrial development locally, we are meaningfully confronting climate change while creating family-wage jobs"
-Simon Zhang, CEO



    CEO, NW Innovation Works, LLC
    Simon Zhang has over 20 years’ experience successfully managing complex energy and industrial projects and has managed NWIW’s operations for the last four years. Before joining the NWIW development team, Mr. Zhang held a number of leadership roles at BP including Solar Global Vice President, Strategic Alliances, Chief of Staff of BP Global Chemicals, and Deputy Chief Financial Officer of BP-Sinopec Retail JV in Zhejiang, China. Mr. Zhang received degrees in chemical engineering from Tsinghua University (BS), Purdue University (MS), the University of Wisconsin (PhD), an MBA from the University of Chicago, and is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.


    Chief Development Officer, NW Innovation Works LLC
    Vee Godley is NWIW’s Northwest-based executive. He has more than 30 years of project development and project management experience. Most recently, Mr. Godley served as Senior Site Manager for Industrial Piping, Inc. He previously held leadership positions at Sanders Bros, Inc., a capital construction company serving industry from southern Virginia to Mississippi. He studied electrical engineering at Beaufort County Community College and physics at North Carolina State University.

    Chief Commercial Officer and General Counsel, NW Innovation Works LLC
    Kent Caputo serves as Chief Commercial Officer and General Counsel for NW Innovation Works and Pan Pacific Energy.  As Chief Commercial Officer and General Counsel, Kent is responsible for commercial opportunities and partnerships, legal and contractual issues, regulatory compliance and interaction, strategic business and financial relationships, policy interaction, and marketing communications strategy.  He oversees legal, regulatory, communications and external affairs resources, including internal and external management and staff, attorneys, consultants and issue experts.

    Kent's 25t year career includes service as a legislative attorney and Legal Counsel to the Governor in Washington State, private legal practice representing developers, tribes, energy/pipeline and internet service providers, manufacturers and high profile media subjects, and executive experience as a COO with business, financial, project development and operational oversight.

    Kent graduated as an Honors Scholar with a Bachelor of Science in Economics as well as a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.  He earned a Master of Laws from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.


    Vice President of Technology, NW Innovation Works, LLC
    Mr. Eastland graduated from Imperial College in 1984 with a degree in chemical engineering and joined Davy Process Technology's London office, working in the Process Engineering department. Mr. Eastland worked as a Process Engineer in the petrochemical technology area before concentrating on methanol from the mid-1990s. He was part of the commissioning and start-up team for a methanol plant in Trinidad and was Commissioning Manager for a second plant. He then was the Lead Engineer for the BP Compact Reformer and Gas to Liquids demonstration plant in Alaska before becoming Technology Manager for Methanol at Johnson Matthey Davy in 1999. In 2008, Mr. Eastland moved into the role of Business Manager for Methanol and had a global responsibility for licensing Johnson Matthey Davy’s methanol technology.


    Vice President of Engineering, NW Innovation Works, LLC
    Ms. Luo has over 30 years of experience in technology development, engineering design, project management, plant operation, and Sino-foreign joint venture setup. She was the Project Engineering Team Leader for the BP Zhuhai PTA project and plant, and has served in various management roles in top Chinese engineering companies. She has a degree in chemical engineering from Tianjin University and is a Certified Senior Process Engineer.


    Vice President of Energy Resources, NW Innovation Works, LLC
    Mr. Riding has 34 years of experience in the energy industry covering a broad range of areas including resource acquisition, risk management, utility operations management, trading, and business development and marketing, primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining NWIW, he held various roles in resource acquisition and management, trading, marketing and business development, and finance for Puget Sound Energy, The Energy Authority and The Williams Companies.


    Tony Hamer has served the Global Chemical, Materials and Energy industries in high profile business leadership and functional roles during his career and his experience and success has make him a sought-after expert advisor today. His profile and passion for inspiring profitable, enterprise growth have included successful initiatives in new concept and business designs and developments, commercialization of products and processes, and the development of innovation to be a competitive strength within each company with which he has been associated.

    Tony has worked at ExxonMobil, Union Carbide/Dow, Olin, Arthur D. Little, Monitor Group and Sinclair and contributed new and growth-oriented ideas to each. The plastics packaging business, energy resources, alternative fuel vehicles are all areas which have benefitted from his views and thought leadership.

    Dr. Hamer has been published delivering industry perspectives for Chemical Week/IHS, Industrial Research Institute, at industrial company senior management retreats and last year received Purdue University's Distinguished Alumni award.

    He holds degrees from Purdue (Ph D); Reading, UK (BSc with Honours); Virginia, Darden, Ex. MBA.


NWIW is investing nearly $4 billion in the construction of facilities at the Port of Kalama in Washington State and Port Westward in Oregon State. We are leading the clean-tech industry by setting new global environmental standards in the production of methanol and significantly reducing global greenhouse gas emissions compared to coal-based methanol.

Port of Kalama

Port of St. Helens, Port Westward Industrial Park

  • Community Engagement

    NWIW is working closely with the Port of Columbia County in Oregon to develop plans for a potential facility at a site still to be determined on property located adjacent to the current Port Westward Industrial Park. This property is in an intended expansion area currently under rezoning review. As with our Kalama facility, this facility will be designed to meet or exceed local, state, and federal regulations that address the health and safety of our employees and surrounding communities. We have not yet started any permitting or regulatory process for this potential facility but look forward to collaborating with port commissioners, government officials and local community members and stakeholders as we move forward.
  • Project Facts