Judging from a newspaper story in today’s Wheeling, West Virginia newspaper, the PTTGCA ethane cracker plant is still a strong possibility for a shovel-ready site in Dilles Bottom, Ohio, since financial commitments are still being honored.
With the forecast 2022 completion of Shell’s new cracker plant, upriver in Monaca, Pennsylvania, there would likely be a readily available, skilled workforce to begin construction, if the project were to proceed.
The new PTT cracker would be at the epicenter of Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale gas production activity in the Ohio River Valley, not far from the cryogenic gas plants seen in the images below.
“PTT Global Chemical America is contributing $1.15 million to the Shadyside Local School District and Mead Township even as the company continues discussions with potential partners on a proposed world-scale petrochemical project in the Ohio Valley. The payments stem from a March 2020 Ohio Enterprise Zone agreement, under which GCA pledged a financial commitment to the school district and the township over 15 years after a final investment decision is made. Although no such decision is imminent, the company will provide financial support of $1 million for the school district and $150,000 for Mead Township to demonstrate its commitment and good corporate citizenship to the local communities.”
The PTT cracker plant would also be situated very close to a proposed underground storage hub, between Wheeling and Moundsville, West Virginia, that’s been promoted by the U.S. Department of Energy and local officials, for many years now.
“West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said a major underground natural gas liquids storage facility proposed for the Ohio Valley is a top economic priority for his office. If built, the hub would allow more natural gas liquids to remain in Appalachia. Storage is a key infrastructure investment needed to attract petrochemical manufacturers to the region. The project would be built with a combination of private investment and a $1.9 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, which is being applied for by the project’s developer, the Appalachia Development Group, LLC.”
With global fossil fuel commodity markets in turmoil, constrained drilling due to recent financials, rapid production declines from shale gas wells, and public attitudes toward plastic devolving, only time will tell if this massive project ever gets built.
“Gross cracking margins for ethane on the US Gulf coast turned negative this week for the first time in two years amid stubbornly high ethane prices, ample ethylene supplies and dwindling polyethylene demand. If ethane cracking margins stay negative for an extended period, reduced runs heard to be occurring at some crackers may turn into shutdowns, sharply reducing ethylene production.”