Ohio moves closer to possible cracker plant as Belmont County chosen for site

Petrochemical plant
Source: DollarPhotoClub

PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company, and its project partner Marubeni Corp. of Japan, have chosen Belmont County for a possible multibillion-dollar ethane cracker plant. If plans go ahead, the petrochemical and refining plant would be built in Mead Township along the Ohio River.

For almost two years PTTGC and Marubeni have been considering sites across the Utica and Marcellus region with input from JobsOhio, a private, non-profit corporation designed to drive job creation and capital investment in the state. The decision to locate the $5 billion project in Belmont was made public on Wednesday by Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Belmont County officials.

“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, multibillion-dollar investment in eastern Ohio, and that’s exciting news for our state, the region and Belmont County.” Gov. John Kasich said when the announcement was made.

The project, which would take an estimated three and a half years to complete and cost several billion dollars, would create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs. The plant would process ethane and other natural gas liquid components from the region’s Utica and Marcellus shale fields, which offer an inexpensive supply of gas. This could be crucial for the region and it’s plastics industry, reducing transportation costs, accelerating growth and attracting manufacturers who use those products.

Now that the site has been selected, PTTGC and Marubeni plan to spend he next 12 to 16 months completing engineering designs and permitting, at a cost of up to $150 million, before deciding whether to move forward with construction.

“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.” Kongkrapan Intarajang, an executive at PTT Global, said in a statement.

The news comes only days after Brazilian companies Odebrecht SA and Braskem announced they were reconsidering the ASCENT project, in West Virginia, which would consist of an ethane cracker and three plants to produce polyethylene.

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