Kasich Joins PTT Global for Cracker Press Event

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gov. John R. Kasich announced Thursday that the American subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company, is ready to invest $100 million to conduct detailed engineering design for a world-scale cracker on a site on the west bank of the Ohio River in Belmont County.

Kasich was joined by the president and CEO of PTT Global Chemical Public Co. Ltd, Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who said PTTGC America will take up to the next 12 months to determine the feasibility of a world-scale petrochemical complex, also known as an ethane cracker, in Mead Township.

If constructed the project would represent a multibillion-dollar investment, and thousands of construction jobs, and hundreds of permanent jobs. The investment would also redevelop the site of the FirstEnergy’s former Burger Power Plant, which was retired in late 2011.

Punmeechaow said PTTGC America has signed contracts with two consortiums of engineering firms led by Bechtel Enterprises Holdings Inc. and Fluor Corp., which will conduct the preliminary front-end engineering design work and cost estimates. The company also has signed an option agreement for key properties in Mead Township where the petrochemical complex would be built.

“Building an ethane gas cracker in eastern Ohio has the ability to be a real game changer for our economy as we make our state a hub for the energy industry,” Kasich said. “The company’s decision to start the engineering phase of this potential project is an enormous step toward making this project a reality.”

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.

“We have been very impressed with the Ohio business climate and with the prioritization of the shale energy industry,” Punmeechaow said. “Gov. Kasich and the team at JobsOhio have been very enthusiastic about this project, and the effectiveness of their team has been key to our focus on this site. With the strong continued support of the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, Belmont County and other local communities, we hope to make this project a reality by the end of next year.”

JobsOhio, the private, no-profit corporation designed to drive job creation and capital investment in Ohio, has led the effort to make the petrochemical complex a reality in Ohio, having worked with PTTGC America for more than two years.

“The benefits of an ethane cracker in Belmont County would reach far beyond the walls of the petrochemical complex itself. It would facilitate additional investments in the growing shale and petrochemical industries, leading to even more job opportunities for Ohioans,” said John Minor,president and chief investment officer of JobsOhio. “I want to thank PTTGC America, our regional partner Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth and our JobsOhio team for the collaborative efforts that have led to this exciting opportunity.”

PTTGC is expected to make a final investment decision in 2016 or 2017. Should the project move forward, construction of the ethane cracker facility would take an estimated three and a half years to complete.

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SOURCE: JobsOhio.

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