Preparation Continues for Belmont County Cracker Plant as PTT Tests the Soil

From The Intelligencer:
To ensure the ground can support a $10 billion ethane cracker, officials are testing the soil at the former R.E. Burger plant along the Ohio River in Belmont County.

Nearly two years ago, the 854-foot-tall smoke stack at the site fell to the ground after an organized sequence of explosions. Last summer, officials with Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical paid $13 million to acquire this property. 
“This is part of our ongoing feasibility and engineering work, including permit-related activities required through our contractors and consultants,” said PTT spokesman Dan Williamson. 
Early this month, PTT paid another $17.5 million to acquire the Ohio-West Virginia Excavating property, which is to the south and west of the Burger site. By combining the areas, the company controls about 500 acres for possibly building the ethane cracker. 
Williamson, however, said this acquisition should not be considered confirmation of a final investment decision, which he said remains under evaluation. 
Still, Belmont County Commissioner J. P. Dutton said he remains cautiously optimistic.
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