OH, PA & WV Still Seeking Ethane Cracker Chemical Plants

by Duane Nichols on December 28, 2015

Decision On Belmont County Ethane Cracker Due in 2016

From an Article by Casey Junkins, Wheeling Intelligencer, December 28, 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, the Upper Ohio Valley seems on course to get a local outlet for its prolific natural gas reserves with the planned $5.7 billion PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker.

After years of speculation and intrigue, Belmont County officials in the spring confirmed that Thailand-based PTT wants to build the giant petrochemical complex on a 500-acre site along the Ohio River in Belmont County, with the project property consisting of the now-closed FirstEnergy Corp. R.E. Burger plant, as well as the Ohio-West Virginia Excavating land to the southwest.

“The Ohio Valley will never be the same. This is going to bring jobs, jobs and more jobs,” Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland said, noting the thousands of temporary construction jobs and hundreds of full-time jobs the project could create.

The proposed plant would accept ethane pumped from Marcellus and Utica shale wells, which remains in overabundance because there is still no cracker in the region. The technology would transform this material into ethylene and polyethylene, which can be used to make plastics, textiles and pharmaceuticals.

In September, PTT President and CEO S. Punmeechaow joined Ohio Gov. John Kasich in Columbus to confirm the company would spend $100 million of its own money for engineering and design plans for the project. Officials expect a final decision on whether the plant will become reality this year.

“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. “I am extremely optimistic. They are going to spend a lot of money.”

Coffland said Belmont County had previously been in the running for the Royal Dutch Shell ethane cracker, which Shell officials ultimately agreed to take to Beaver County, Pa., though they have not yet made a final decision on that plant.

“We first met with Shell in late 2010. They eventually decided to go to Pennsylvania,” Coffland said. “PTT came to us in September 2013 to look at the site. We also showed them housing, shopping, hospitals and such.”

FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young said the Akron, Ohio-based power producer is actively removing certain structures from the site, such as conveyor belts from the former coal yard and other small structures.

“Demolition activities will continue into next year, with large structures such as the boilers and concrete stack expected to be removed late in the summer. All structures on the site will be removed and grass will be planted, returning the site to a field-like condition,” Young said.

Though PTT officials may take until the end next year to make a final decision on the whether to build the facility, firms such as Switzerland’s INEOS and Paris’ Technip SA have signed on to provide technology to the Asian company if it proceeds with the plant.

Alhough industry and political leaders cheer the potential petrochemical plant, any ethane cracker would also be sure to release a certain amount of air pollution. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Shell’s cracker would produce 348 tons of nitrogen oxides, 1,012 tons of carbon monoxide, 21 tons of sulfur oxides, 522 tons of volatile organic compounds, 152 tons of ammonia and 2.24 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents.

#   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

Officials in Pa., W.Va., Ohio hope cracker plants get commitment, go into production

By David Conti, Pittsburgh Trib-Live, December 27, 2015

With companies spending hundreds of millions in 2015 on planning for two potential petrochemical plants along the Ohio River, officials in three states hope 2016 is the year that billions of dollars are committed to their construction. (PA, OH, WV)

See also: www.FrackCheckWV.net

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: