PTT Selects Former First Energy Plant for Cracker

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — PTT Global Chemical has selected the former Dilles Bottom coal-fired power plant in Belmont County as the site for the $5.7 billion ethane cracker plant the company is considering whether to build in Ohio. The site was disclosed in an investor presentation that the Thai-owned company made May 15.

JobsOhio announced April 22 that PTT is considering construction of a “world-scale petrochemical complex.” (READ STORY)

The company’s partner in the venture is Marubeni Corp., a Tokyo trading house. A third partner is being sought to assist with financing, a PTT executive said two weeks ago. In its investor presentation, PTT said it is “talking to potential lenders in Thailand and studying “funding schemes” in the United States.

PTT said the former First Energy plant sits in the center of an ethane network with nearby fractionation units that would allow the project to utilize existing pipelines, mostly less that two years old. Company representatives visited 73 potential customers in 2014, the presentation states; “all customers are willing to buy from us.” Discussions were also held with nine potential upstream and midstream suppliers of ethane feedstock, the company said.

PTT noted “the availability and quality the 90,000 local skilled workers in Ohio, and said Jobs Ohio offered “an aggressive incentive package. According to the investor presentation, the incentives include state job creation tax credits, workforce training grants, infrastructure improvement grants and local tax credits.

PTT and Marubeni are expected to make a final investment decision in the third quarter of 2016. Three key criteria will determine the decision, the company said: “Investment cost justify[ing] investment return; enough ethane capacity with capped price; and a partner [who] can distribute products in North America.

Should the project move forward, construction of the ethane cracker would take an estimated three and a half years to complete.

Pictured: Aerial view of the former First Energy Dilles Bottom coal-fired power plant in Belmont County.

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