Thai Company PTTGCA Stalls in Plans for Ethane Cracker in Ohio Valley

by Duane Nichols on April 27, 2022

High temperature cracking consumes fuel creating GHG & pollutants

PTTGCA cracker plant company returns $20 million to state of Ohio

From the Spring 2022 Newsletter of Concerned Ohio River Residents, WV – OH – PA

The Thai company, PTT Global Chemical America returned $20 million to the state of Ohio since they did not meet the deadline set forth in the agreement they made with the state years ago. They have not started construction and their air permit with Ohio EPA expired in Feb. 2022 as well. The state gave the company around $70 million total to prep the site in Dilles Bottom, OH to build the massive ethane cracker/plastics plant, and now that they had to return a good portion of it, many are questioning even more if the plant will ever get built.

“PTTGCA’s decision to let the air permit expire is the latest indicator that the project is extremely unlikely to move forward, and certainly will not be moving forward any time soon,” said Megan Hunter, senior attorney at the Chicago-based EarthJustice advocacy organization. “We are thankful that at least for now, the community is safe from the air pollution that would come from the facility.”

“Currently in the global economy, there is a massive overcapacity for the production of ethylene and polyethylene,” said Sean O’Leary, senior researcher at the Ohio River Valley Institute. “There’s been massive build-out along the Gulf Coast, and there’s also been major build-out in Asia, particularly in China. The competitive atmosphere is a pretty daunting one.”

What does this latest news mean for the Ohio Valley? No one is for certain, but we will keep you updated as we learn more about the situation. We should continue to push our elected officials to move on to some type of development that is sustainable and healthy, rather than extractive and dirty. Let’s come together in a positive way and create the future we want to have in the Ohio Valley.


Lyondell Basell to shutter Houston oil refinery in exit from refining

From an Article by Erwin Seba, Reuters News Service, April 21, 2022

HOUSTON, April 21 (Reuters) – Chemical maker Lyondell Basell Industries will permanently close its Houston crude oil refinery by the end of 2023. The decision comes after two failed attempts to sell the plant and the closing of five U.S. refineries in the last two years. Refining until recently has been beset by high costs and low margins.

“After thoroughly analyzing our options, we have determined that exiting the refining business by the end of next year is the best strategic and financial path forward,” said Ken Lane, interim chief executive. The refinery, which makes gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, will remain in operation and the company will continue to seek potential transactions and/or alternatives for the roughly 700-acre site on the Houston Ship Channel.

The company earlier took a $264 million impairment charge as part of its decision to exit refining. In the past 10 years, Lyondell has twice mounted efforts to sell the 263,776 barrel-per-day refinery but failed to conclude a deal.

John Auers, executive vice president of Turner, Mason & Co, a Dallas-based energy consultancy, said Thursday’s announcement means “there will definitely be people knocking on the door” to look at the refinery. “The refinery could sell for a significant amount,” Auers said. “I certainly don’t expect it to close given this statement.”

Lyondell said the refinery, once the anchor of its supply chain as a regional chemical company, no longer fit with its global petrochemical production. “While this was a difficult decision, our exit of the refining business advances the company’s decarbonization goals, and the site’s prime location gives us more options for advancing our future strategic objectives, including circularity,” Lane said. Circularity refers to efforts by plastics manufacturers to increase spare finished plastics from landfills and return them to the supply chain for chemical plants.

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