PTT needs more time on Belmont County cracker plant decision

STILL WAITING — The site of the planned PTT Global Chemical America petrochemical complex along the Ohio River in Dilles Bottom is seen from the West Virginia side. The company announced this week it will wait another six to nine months before making a final investment in the potential $10-billion project in Belmont County. (File photo)

DILLES BOTTOM — PTT Global Chemical America will take more time than previously anticipated to decide whether it will build a petrochemical complex in the Ohio Valley.

PTTGCA, one of two companies considering construction of an ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, announced a new timeline for the project this week.

Working with Daelim Chemical USA, PTTGCA has acquired property and done site preparation work along the Ohio River south of Shadyside. The companies have not yet announced a final commitment to the plan.

PTTGCA on Monday reiterated its commitment to a world-scale petrochemical complex in Ohio, unveiling an anticipated timeline of six to nine months for a final investment decision. It released a statement noting that in the wake of a global pandemic, all companies, including PTTGCA, have been prioritizing the health and safety of employees and all stakeholders, focusing on business continuity, and taking prudent steps to navigate new challenges.

Even with these challenges, PTTGCA has said it is progressing with the plans and at no point put the project on indefinite hold.

“We continue to be grateful for the support and encouragement we receive from this community and all our local, state and federal partners,” said PTTGCA President and CEO Toasaporn Boonyapipat. “While the pandemic has prevented us from moving as quickly as we would like within our previous timeline, our best estimate is for a final investment decision by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year.”

The companies already have cleared regulatory hurdles to construction and operation of the plant, which would use ethane from the local “wet” natural gas stream to produce polyethylene, a component of plastics, chemicals such as paints and cleaners, textiles and a wide variety of products.

The cost of the facility could exceed $10 billion, officials have said.

Advocates say the plant would bring high-paying jobs and spinoff industries, such as plastics plants. Opponents worry about the potential impact of the facility on air and water quality and residents’ health.


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