PTT Responds to “Indefinite Hold” on OH Cracker Decision

PTT Global Chemical, the huge Thailand-based petrochemical company looking to build a world-class ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, has botched its messaging about when it will make a final investment decision (FID) about moving forward with the project. The latest FID was supposed to be now, by the end of June this year (see PTT CEO Sends Loud & Clear Signal of Positive FID on OH Cracker). Then the company said the pandemic would delay the FID, without giving any kind of time frame. We referred to that as an “indefinite” delay (see PTT Postpones Ohio Cracker Final Investment Decision Indefinitely). PTT disputes that characterization. Did we get it wrong by labeling the FID delay as “indefinite”?
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EPA Issues Final Rule to Prevent States from Blocking Pipelines

In April 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) instructing the Environmental Protection Agency to review Section 401 of the Clean Water Act–the section that grants states (and tribes) the right to have a say in pipeline projects (see Trump Signs Executive Order Making it Harder to Block Pipes). In keeping with the EO, the EPA issued a draft new rule in August 2019 tightening up standards used in Section 401, creating new boundaries so states like New York and Washington can’t continue to “color outside the lines” by rejecting pipelines for political reasons, as they have both done (see EPA Issues Proposed New Rule for Section 401 Water Permits). Yesterday the EPA released the final version of the new rule.
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May NatGas Deliveries to US LNG Plants Lowest Since Last October

Feedgas, which is the gas that flows to LNG export facilities, hit the lowest levels it has seen since last October according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As we pointed out two weeks ago, natural gas prices are staying low because worldwide demand and prices for LNG is currently low (see Why Does NatGas Price Stay So Low with Falling Production?). Low prices will continue for the foreseeable future, with some 20 U.S. LNG export cargoes for June now canceled and another 45 for July rumored to be canceled.
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NYC Green Wackadoodles Meet Online to Oppose New NatGas Supplies

New York City and Long Island are starved for new sources of natural gas. Utility giant National Grid supplies all of Long Island with gas, including NYC’s Brooklyn and Queens. National Grid’s best option to supply growing customer demand was a new pipeline. That option is now closed, thanks to Andrew Cuomo (see Cuomo Rejects NESE Pipe Again, Williams Walks Away). National Grid has two options left to get the gas it needs–yet a group of truly insane nutters held a virtual protest meeting last Thursday to object to *any* new supplies of natural gas coming to NYC and LI. They prefer…what? To run out?
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NJ Launches Study of NatGas Supplies Needed for Next 10 Years

New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) has been saying, for years, that unless that state wants to run out of natural gas, it needs to allow a couple of new pipelines to bring new sources into the state. NJNG is promoting two pipeline projects–the Southern Reliability Link project and the PennEast Pipeline. Southern Reliability is currently under construction while PennEast is mired in a court battle. Now it seems the state is finally waking up to the fact they will run out of gas in the next 10 years if they don’t do something. So they’ve launched a study to see whether or not they can block the pipeline projects.
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Braskem America Building New Petchem Export Hub in Charleston, SC

Braskem America, the largest petrochemical company in Latin America (headquartered in Brazil), at one time wanted to build an ethane cracker plant near Parkersburg, WV. They gave up on that plan last July (see Braskem Gives Up on WV Cracker – Parkersburg Site for Sale). Braskem has major petrochemical operations in the U.S. The company has just announced it will build a new petrochemical global export hub in Charleston, S.C. The hub will export polypropylene. Some of the exports will come from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
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