Belmont County OHIO Site (Opposite Moundsville, WV) Still in Contention for Cracker Plant

by admin on March 31, 2022

Construction phase of Shell Cracker Plant in Monaca, PA, October 2019

PTTCGA pays back $20M, insists petrochemical project viable
From an Article by Mark Gillipsie, WHEC (NBC) News 10, March 30, 2022
CLEVELAND (AP) – The U.S. subsidiary of Thailand-based petrochemical giant PTT Global Chemical has repaid Ohio’s private economic development office $20 million after it failed to make an investment decision in 2020 on a proposed petrochemical plant in the state.

Spokespersons for both PTT Global Chemical America and JobsOhio said this week the company remains committed to building the multi-billion dollar project in southeast Ohio’s Belmont County as PTTGCA continues searching for an investment partner.

The $20 million was paid to Bechtel Corp. in 2019 to complete site engineering and site preparation for a plant that would convert ethane – a byproduct of natural gas drilling from the Utica and Marcellus shale fields – into different types of polyethylene, raw materials for products that range from plastic bottles to vehicle parts.

The project has been optimistically viewed as a potential economic development boost for an Appalachian region still struggling from the loss of manufacturing jobs decades ago. The plant, its backers say, would create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent positions and spawn a manufacturing renaissance along the Ohio River.

A similar $6 billion petrochemical plant built by Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC 30 miles (50 kilometers) northwest of Pittsburgh is scheduled to begin operations this year. Shell announced its final investment decision in 2016. News that PTTGC would partner with a Japanese company to build a petrochemical plant in Belmont County first surfaced in 2015, spurring talk of a regional petrochemical hub to take advantage of abundant supplies of ethane.

In an interview with The Associated Press this week, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted expressed skepticism about whether the Ohio plant would be built. “They can’t find a partner because of market conditions,” Husted said. “They’re the ones who made the promise on what they’re going to do, and it’s up to them.”

Husted said the site, which is owned by PTTCGA, would be attractive to other developers. “There’s a lot of options for other end users,” Husted said. “The last thing I’m going to do is create a false hope. People in Appalachia have been promised a lot of things that businesses never delivered.”

PTTGCA spokesperson Dan Williamson said the company has invested $300 million in the project thus far and that company officials are committed to building the plant. He said there is no deadline for a decision on building it. “If the company wasn’t still hopeful of this happening, they would not continue to invest in it,” Williamson said.

JobsOhio spokesperson Matt Englehart blamed the coronavirus pandemic for the delay in an investment decision that resulted in PTTGCA paying back the $20 million. A U.S. subsidiary of South Korea’s Daelim Industrial Co. withdrew as PTTGCA’s partner in July 2020.

JobsOhio, which is funded with profits from Ohio liquor sales, has provided an additional $50 million in grants and loans for developing the site where a FirstEnergy Corp. coal-burning power plant once stood.

“PTTGCA remains committed to the project, and JobsOhio and its partners continue to work closely with PTTGCA to bring the project to a positive final investment decision,” Englehart said in a statement, adding that PTTGCA is “actively pursuing investors.”

PTTGCA is “in the process” of resubmitting its expired air permit to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Williamson said. The permit will reflect PTT Global Chemical’s commitment to reducing global emissions 20% by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050, he added.

The Ohio EPA recently renewed the company’s wastewater discharge permit.

Working in the company’s favor is that prices for polyethylene and other raw plastics have rebounded since a steep drop in 2020. Analysts say global demand for plastic products will continue to rise this decade.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Duane Nichols March 31, 2022 at 10:18 am


Driving back from Cleveland yesterday there were two shocking experiences. The size of the Shell Cracker Plant at Monaca as the Interstate highway approaches the Ohio River bridge is unbelievable.

Also, we were on I-376 labeled TOLL EASY-PASS ONLY. This is unAmerican for interstate travelers. We breezed right thru realizing cameras were on our case!

“What happens if I go through E-ZPass without an E-ZPass PA?
From now on, drivers who go through the E-ZPass lanes without a transponder will still get a bill in the mail, but they have 30 days in which to pay it. Failure to pay that bill means a $50 fine. Failure to pay the fine and the toll means your vehicle registration could be suspended.”

The Governor of Pennsylvania is gonna hear from me. Let’s all send him picture postcards with our comments.

Duane Nichols, Morgantown, WV


Mary Wildfire April 1, 2022 at 8:04 am


Sounds like the scheme is to keep the lucrative arrangement of a toll road, but without the cost — and job benefit — of having toll collectors there. I’ve noticed that tollbooths set up to pay for road construction are never taken down after the cost is paid for — once there is a money spigot into a state government, they are extremely loath to shut it off.

Mary Wildfire


Mary Wildfire April 1, 2022 at 8:01 am

RE: Associated Press Article on Shell Cracker Plant at Monaca, Penna.

I found contact info for the news station that posted this piece, and sent this letter:

“I’m writing to complain about the news story linked in the subject line. It reflects an artificial world, a world of the past, when a new factory that would provide jobs was all good and the only issue was whether the investment firm could operate profitably. There is no mention of the global antiplastics movement, the increasing evidence that the residue of the past several decades’ release of plastic into the world in having dire environmental and health consequences, or the opposition to this proposed plant. it’s as one-sided as if it came from a PR release… perhaps it did?”

Mary Wildfire, Roane County, WV

NOTE ~ WHEC News 10 is the NBC affiliated television station in Rochester, NY, that distributed the AP article written in Cleveland, OH. The writer and the broadcaster should both be aware of the horrendous problems caused by plastics worldwide and assure that their coverage output contains some recognition of these challenges. DGN


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: