PTT’s “Big Announcement” – Gets a New Partner for Belmont Cracker

PTT Global Chemical, based in Thailand, has snagged a major/important new partner in its project to build a $6 billion ethane cracker complex in Belmont County, Ohio. That partner is Daelim Chemical, a subsidiary of Daelim Industrial, which is one of Asia’s top engineering/construction firms (and one of the largest companies in South Korea). The addition of Daelim is yet another positive sign that PTT will, at some point this year, pull the trigger and make a “final investment decision” (FID) to move forward with the project. PTT disappointed when they didn’t follow through with an FID in 2017, as they had promised. To be fair, these projects are big and a misstep can bankrupt a company. The Belmont cracker will be the largest single investment made by PTT since becoming a company–so we understand their reticence. Still, when you promise, you promise. Just last month, in December 2017, PTT delivered the disappointing news that there would be no FID announcement in 2017, but that there would be a big announcement “in early 2018” (see PTT Global Chemical Officially Delays Cracker Decision Until 2018). We figure the announcement about Daelim must be that announcement. It certainly qualifies as big, and it’s still early in 2018. In football terms (in honor of this weekend’s Superbowl), on Tuesday PTT achieved another first down, retaining possession of the ball (control of the Belmont cracker project), moving it further down the field toward the goal. But they haven’t yet made a touchdown (an FID). Perhaps not learning from past mistakes, PTT set a new expectation that the FID will be made “by the end of 2018″…

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