Drilling Down

Feasibility Study OK’d for Second Appalachian Cracker Plant

DILLES BOTTOM, Ohio – The Board of Directors of PTTGC America, a subsidiary of Thailand-based PTT Global Chemicals, has given the go-ahead to conduct a feasibility study toward the development of a multibillion-dollar ethane cracker plant proposed for Belmont County, Ohio.

A press release issued by PTTGC America says the board approved the execution of a heads of agreement, or HOA, between the company and Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd., a Korean construction and chemical firm.

Under the agreement, Daelim will conduct a comprehensive feasibility study that includes front-end engineering and design of the complex and the development of funding sources for the project.

“As PTTGC continues to soliciting strategic partners, there are multiple interests from international investors to participate,” the company said in a statement.

In June 2017, the company spent $13.8 million and purchased a site at Dilles Bottom along the Ohio River in Belmont County for the proposed project.

A final investment decision on the cracker plant – first announced in 2015 – has been pushed back to the end of 2018. Initially, PTTGC had wanted to announce a decision at the close of 2017.

In December, PTTGC announced that it would “have a significant update that will demonstrate momentum for this project in early 2018.”

Should the project move forward, it would be the second ethane “cracker” to be constructed in the Appalachian region. Royal Dutch Shell is in the process of building a $6 billion ethane petrochemicals complex near Monaca, Pa., along the Ohio River.

These plants convert ethane gas into polyethylene pellets, which is used as a base ingredient found in plastics and other materials. The Appalachian region has become a point of interest for these plants because of the large supply of ethane gas found in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.