Economic Development

JobsOhio Awards $30M for Cracker Site Preparation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — JobsOhio has awarded $30 million to fund “initial site-preparation work” for construction of a petrochemical plant in Belmont County, according to published reports.

The grant would go to PTT Global Chemical America, a unit of a corporation based in Thailand, and its partner, Daelim Industrial Co. of South Korea. It was reported by the Columbus Dispatch, which quoted Matt Englehart, a spokesman for JobsOhio.

“While this is an important and positive step for the project, no final investment decision has been made,” Englehart said. “JobsOhio and our partners will continue closely collaborating with PTTGC America and Daelim as they work toward a final investment decision.”

The company has evaluated for nearly five years a project that it says is valued at $6 billion. Four years ago, then-Gov. John Kasich was joined by executives at a press event to announce a $100 million investment to conduct a detailed engineering design for a “world-scale” cracker on a site on the west bank of the Ohio River in Mead Township.

In October 2017, PTT signed a memorandum of understanding with JobsOhio, pledging “to establish a community infrastructure development plan “to continually enhance the well-being and quality of life for the communities in the area surrounding PTTGC America’s planned petrochemical complex in Belmont County.”

At that time, the company said a final investment decision would be made by the end of 2017.

The Dispatch quoted a statement from PTT and Daelim: “There is not a timetable for that decision at this point. Obviously, both companies are extremely grateful to JobsOhio for its support.

The ethane cracker would convert ethane extracted from the region’s Marcellus and Utica Shale formations into ethylene, which is used as a basis for plastics and resins contained in food and product packaging, textiles and pharmaceuticals.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.