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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Decision on Belmont County Cracker Plant Gets Delayed Again

From the Columbus Dispatch:
Belmont County leaders are going to need to wait a little while longer to know if a giant petrochemical plant is coming. 
Developers of a proposed multibillion-dollar “cracker” plant, which may be the largest economic-development prospect in the state, said on Thursday that they will “have a significant update that will demonstrate momentum for this project early in 2018.” 
This is the latest of several delays by PTT Global Chemical of Thailand, which disclosed it was considering a Belmont County site in April 2015. At that time, the company said it was doing engineering studies and would decide whether to move forward with the project in 2016. The company said last February that it was delaying the decision until late 2017. 
A cracker plant takes ethane, a component of natural gas, and breaks it down to produce ethylene, which is used in chemical manufacturing. Belmont County, which is along the Ohio-West Virginia border, is on top of plentiful gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. 
“It’s just a tremendously large project that has a lot of parts to it,” said Larry Merry, executive director of the Belmont County Port Authority. “The company is just doing their due diligence.”
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