PTTGC’s decision to delay the final approval is not surprising. The delay is not reflection on the opportunity for a cracker plant in the Appalachian Basin. PTTGC recognizes the significant opportunity for producing polyethylene at very low prices. Currently throughout the world, polyethylene prices are rising especially in Europe. The market needs more polyethylene capacity.
Look how long it took Shell before it gave its final approval.
It appears that PTTGC is looking for partners in the project and there is definitely interest. The other partners could possibly be from Asia. The reason for the delay is the terms of the partnerships.
PTT Global Chemical Public Company Ltd. had expected to decide by spring whether to build a giant complex related to the shale oil and gas industry. Now, it’s waiting until late 2017.
PTT Global confirmed an investment of $100 million for engineering design work for the cracker plant in eastern Ohio.
PTT Global confirmed an investment of $100 million for engineering design work for the… more
The Thai company’s chief executive says it needs more time to discuss its plans “so that we will be in a stronger position to make our decision on the engineering design and the economic feasibility of this project.”
PTT realizes the malaise this announcement may cause those in Belmont County, the eastern Ohio county that would house the ethane cracker petrochemical plant.
“For some in the Belmont County community, especially the project area residents, we recognize this delay may cause further uncertainty and inconvenience, but we hope that the strong support we have received to date will continue,” Toasaporn Boonyapipat, the CEO of PTTGC America LLC, said in a statement.
This isn’t the project’s first delay. There’s still a “full willingness and desire to further develop this project. We believe that this added step will lead to a sufficient level of information needed in order to move forward with the complex,” according to the statement. PTT has spent $100 million doing preliminary site work.
There’s a lot riding on the plant. JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development corporation, recently gave the electric utility that owns the land $14 million to clear the development site in Dilles Bottom, along the Ohio River. It is t he biggest single amount given by JobsOhio. PTT wanted the site cleared before making its decision that was supposed to happen in a few months.
Indeed, Ohio has offered what PTT describes as “aggressive” incentives since the site was first seriously considered by PTT in 2015.
JobsOhio’s pitch is to make the plant, which takes components from natural gas and “cracks” it to use as a feedstock for plastics and other products, the center of an eastern Ohio renaissance for manufacturing plants in the supply chain. Ohio is home to the Utica shale natural gas play, and nearby Pennsylvania and West Virginia house the Marcellus shale play.