Drilling Down

JobsOhio Confirms Cracker Could Be Built in Belmont County

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – JobsOhio today officially announced that PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company, and its project partner, Marubeni Corp., a Tokyo-based company, have selected a site in Belmont County for the possible construction of a world-scale petrochemical complex, also known in the industry as an ethane cracker.

The project was detailed Tuesday in this story posted at BusinessJournalDaily.com.

With a site now selected, PTTGC and Marubeni will take the next 12-to-16 months to complete the detailed engineering design and permitting at the Ohio site, according to today’s announcement.

For nearly two years, PTTGC and Marubeni have considered project sites across the Utica and Marcellus shale region, officials said.

“Ohio is at the center of America’s new energy industry, and the smart companies want to come here to be part of the great things that are happening. We are one step closer to landing a new, multi-billion dollar investment in eastern Ohio, and that’s exciting news for our state, the region and Belmont County,” Gov. John R. Kasich said in a prepared statement. “There is more work ahead before final decisions on this project are made, but I know our Ohio team will do everything we can to bring it fruition. We are excited about the possibility of working with companies of the caliber of PTTGC Global and Marubeni. A project of this size can help lift the region forever.”

If constructed, the ethane cracker would utilize ethane extracted from the region’s Marcellus and Utica Shale formations. The facility would then “crack” the ethane into ethylene, which is used as a basis for plastics and resins contained in everyday items such as food and product packaging, textiles and pharmaceuticals.

“Working with JobsOhio and the state over the past two years has been a positive experience and we look forward to moving this project into the next phase,” said Dr. Kongkrapan Intarajang, Executive Vice President of International Business Relations for PTTGC. “While we have not yet made final decisions on this investment, we will continue to work with Gov. Kasich, JobsOhio and all of the local partners in an effort to make our vision a reality.”

John Minor, president and chief investment officer of JobsOhio, called the project “truly a collaborative effort. … JobsOhio’s David Mustine and Matt Cybulski played leading roles working with PTTGC and Marubeni along with our regional partner Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth and local development partners. I thank them for playing such integral roles in advancing the project to this point. An ethane cracker in Belmont would facilitate additional investments in the growing shale and petrochemical industries, and with greater investments come more job opportunities for Ohioans.”

PTTGC and Marubeni are expected to make a final investment decision in 2016. Should the project move forward, construction of the ethane cracker facility would take an estimated three and a half years to complete.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6, called today’s announcement “a potential game-changer for eastern Ohio.” Noting that  Belmont County was selected over sites in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Johnson said, “This is an exciting moment for the state, the region and potential job seekers.”

PTT Global Chemical PCL is ranked in the Top 10 of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the second consecutive year and was ranked 22nd among world-leading petrochemical companies on the ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies listing. The company has seven main business lines and currently has the production capacity of chemical and petrochemical products of 8.8 million ton per year and the refinery capacity of crude oil and condensates of 280,000 billion barrels a day.

Marubeni Corp. was founded in 1858 . Through its local and international network, Marubeni provides products and services in a broad range of sectors, encompassing import and export as well as transactions in the Japanese market.

SOURCE: JobsOhio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.