NEWS

Thai Chemical Company Announces Feasibility Study On Ethane Cracker

February 2, 2018

Gongwer News Service Ohio. A Thai petrochemical company has launched a new partnership to explore the feasibility of establishing a potential world-class ethane cracker facility in Belmont County.

At the same time, Gov. John Kasich is urging those in Ohio eagerly awaiting updates on the project from PTT Global to be patient.

The feasibility study will in part examine PTT’s potential to secure funding for the project and will be conducted in partnership with a subsidiary of Korean construction firm Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd.

PTT’s board of directors approved the agreement between the two companies this week, giving an update to shale-region stakeholders eagerly awaiting news of the project.

The company’s announcement demonstrates the company’s continued interest in the project and states that a final investment decision is expected by year’s end.

“As PTTGCA continues to solicit strategic partners, there are multiple interests from international investors, including Daelim, to participate,” according to PTT.

JobsOhio and the Kasich administration announced the project in 2015 standing alongside company leaders. PTT at that time committed $100 million to explore the project’s prospects. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, April 22, 2015)

But a final investment decision – first expected in 2016 – has been delayed several times. PTT late last year foreshadowed a “significant update” on the project in early 2018. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, December 21, 2017)

Speaking at a forum this week, Gov. Kasich said, “these things don’t just happen overnight,” but added that he’s urged the company to make a timely decision.

“You just have to wait,” Gov. Kasich said. “These are complicated. The Thais have to have a partner. We’re on it all the time. We talk to them. It’s patience.”

“I’ve been on the phone with these folks day and night,” Gov. Kasich said of both JobsOhio and the company. “But enough already. You’ve got to decide. What I tell them is: decide. Not being in the U.S. is crazy.”

Gov. Kasich has labeled the project a potential boon for the region that will draw in jobs and steer economic revitalization.

“We would love to have the cracker because what the cracker will do is create a plastics industry in Ohio,” he added. “It will benefit the whole region if we can get this thing done.”

JobsOhio spokesman Matt Englehart called the announcement “a sign of positive momentum for this project.”

“We will continue to work closely with both companies and our local partners to move this project toward a positive final investment decision,” Mr. Englehart said.

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