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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Potential Belmont County Cracker Plant Would Use Almost 500 Acres

More details have begun to emerge about the ethane cracker plant proposed by PTT Global Chemical for Belmont County.

We've already shared previously that the site for the plant is the current location of the coal-powered FirstEnergy R.E. Burger Plant.  It's now been stated that the cracker plant would involve much more than just that land.

From The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register:
The planned $5.7 billion PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker would fill nearly a 500-acre area from between the Ohio River and Ohio 7, according to Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland and local landowner Roger Lewis. 
After officials with Thailand-based PTT confirmed Thursday they would spend $100 million of company money to conduct thorough engineering and design plans, Coffland, Lewis and FirstEnergy Corp. spokeswoman Jennifer Young discussed how the giant project would unfold, to the best of their knowledge. 
"It involves a lot more land than the FirstEnergy property," Coffland said, of the approximately 150-acre R.E. Burger Plant site. "The Ohio-West Virginia Excavating property is a little over 300 acres."
Columbus Business First has some more details on the development of the plans for the cracker plant as well:
Roger Lewis, president of the excavating company, was part of a local contingent who hosted the company two years ago. 
"That's how this started," Coffland told me. "It really came to life." 
Coffland got involved with PTT when they visited this February. The PTT staffers were headed to another potential site for the cracker in Apple Grove, a tiny hamlet across the Ohio River in West Virginia. 
"When they left our site, their exact words were, 'We will be back,'" Coffland said.

Royal Dutch Shell had looked at the Ohio-West Virginia Excavating acreage in late 2010 and optioned the property for a year-and-a-half. Shell ultimately chose a site in Pennsylvania. West Virginia has its own proposed cracker plant, although the joint venture behind it has hit the pause button.
While this proposed plant is still several hurdles away from being a sure thing, there is no question that it is a very real possibility.

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