A U.S. subsidiary of state-owned Thai oil and gas company PTT Pcl said on Feb. 5 that it was focused on finding a partner for its proposed petrochemical plant in Ohio that will turn ethane into plastics.
“The focus of the project is finding a partner. There are very substantive conversations going on with a number of companies that the project team feels good about,” said Dan Williamson, a spokesman for the project.
He said he could not share the names of those companies at this time.
Williamson also said the team was in the process of meeting with members of President Joe Biden’s administration to brief them on the benefits of the project, which will cost an estimated $10 billion to build and create hundreds of full-time jobs and thousands of construction jobs.
He also noted that renewables would be part of the project.
Last summer, PTT's PTT Global Chemical America (PTTGCA) subsidiary delayed making a final investment decision to build the ethane cracker from the first half of 2020 to the first half of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Williamson said the company still hopes to make a final investment decision during the first half of 2021 but noted that time frame is a “reasonable hope” and not a “set in stone” prediction.
If it were not for the pandemic, the company has said the plant would likely already be under construction.
The ethane cracker is designed to produce about 1.5 million metric tons of ethylene per year and will take 4-6 years to build.
In addition to PTTGCA’s project, Royal Dutch Shell Plc is building an ethane cracker nearby in western Pennsylvania that is expected to enter service in the early 2020s.
High costs, regulatory hurdles and environmentalist opponents have made it difficult to construct major natural gas pipelines out of Appalachia.
Constraints on the midstream will result in higher gas prices, East Daley says, leading utilities to rely more on cheaper coal.
Adjustment to low prices will be much faster than in the past.