WV Gov. Tomblin Leads Trade Mission to Brazil re Cracker Plant

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office has announced that the Governor and first lady, along with Keith Burdette, Secretary of the West Virginia Dept. of Commerce and several other officials, are going on a road trip to Brazil to babysit, er advance the ball on the ethane cracker plant planned for the Parkersburg, WV area by Brazilian company Odebrecht and its sister company Braskem. The trade delegation will discuss “next steps” with their counterparts–to ensure everything is on track. It’s also a nice little junket/vacation to get the Guv (a Democrat) out of town after his state essentially turned Republican underneath his feet in Tuesday’s election…
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Economist Briefs WVU-P on Odebrecht Ethane Cracker

In February, the former director of West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and professor emeritus at WVU, Tom Witt, released a study about the coming economic miracle that will be the Odebrecht ethane cracker plant in Parkersburg, WV (see Economist Releases Report on WV Cracker Plant’s Economic Impact). Witt’s previous employer, WVU, also hired him to brief them about this coming economic miracle. They specifically want to be sure their educational programs will help prepare the local workforce. Witt briefed the Parkersburg Board of Governors earlier this month. What did he tell them?…
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Odebrecht WV Cracker Plant Decision “By End of 2015”

An update on the progress being made by Odebrecht and their planned ethane cracker plant and petrochemical manufacturing facility planned for Parkersburg (Wood County), WV. At the recent Global Plastics Summit in Chicago, Braskem (sister company to Odebrecht) vice president of business development, Renato Monteiro, said a final decision on building the proposed cracker plant will be made “by the end of 2015.” Here’s a few other tidbits about the cracker plant that came from Monteiro at the conference, including when the first PE (polyethylene) might be manufactured at the plant…
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Odebrecht Moves Forward with WV Cracker Plant Plans

It's a done dealThe previously announced ethane cracker plant that is slated to be built near Parkersburg, WV is coming along very nicely, according to Odebrecht spokesman David Peebles. A talk at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Business Summit at The Greenbrier last week, along with conversations with the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, provided some key details about just where the project sits. Once again MDN notices how quickly (and convincingly) the Odebrecht cracker project is progressing after being announced just last fall, as opposed to the ponderous path being taken by Shell with their planned cracker plant, announced 2 1/2 years ago. Neither plant is a done deal, yet. But in light of Odebrecht’s full-speed-ahead attitude and news from last week, it sure seems like the WV cracker is a lot closer to being a done deal than the Shell cracker…
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Odebrecht Cracker Plant Will be Magnet for Downstream Development

David Peebles, VP of business development for Odebrecht, presented a plan for downstream development related to his company’s proposed ethane cracker plant in Parkersburg, WV at the Department of Energy Quadrennial Energy Review Public Meeting held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on July 21st. The presentation shows how the proposed Odebrecht $2B+ ethane cracker plant is just the beginning of “clusters” of downstream manufacturing facilities that will be built. The cracker plant will act as a magnet for other businesses. Peebles presented the plan to DOE Sec. Ernest Moniz. And, we happen to have a copy!…
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More Evidence the Odebrect WV Ethane Cracker Will Happen

MDN continues to be encouraged by what we see happening with Odebrecht and their plans to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant and petrochemical complex near Parkersburg, WV, the state’s third largest city (see WV Announces Brazilian Company to Build Ethane Cracker Complex). As we previously commented, the WV ethane cracker just feels like it’s going to happen (see Odebrecht’s WV Ethane Cracker has The Big Mo–Momentum). The evidence that it will happen continued this week…
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Antero to Provide 50% Ethane Needed at Parkersburg Cracker Plant

halfway thereThe ethane cracker plant planned for Parkersburg (Wood County), WV, to be built by Odebrecht and operated by Odebrecht subsidiary Braskem America, took another giant step closer to reality yesterday. Powerhouse Marcellus/Utica driller Antero Resources announced they will provide 30,000 barrels per day of ethane for the proposed new plant when/if it gets built. That’s half of what the plant needs to operate. Antero Resources CEO Paul Rady was joined by Odebrecht VP of business development David Peebles on stage at the Marcellus to Manufacturing Ethane Development Conference at the Charleston Civic Center for the big announcement yesterday. WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin took to the stage to crow about the deal too (he’s earned the right).

It was just Monday of last week that MDN observed that the Odebrect cracker plant just “feels” like it’s going to happen (see Odebrecht’s WV Ethane Cracker has The Big Mo–Momentum). Yesterday’s Antero announcement is more evidence of that. Below is the official Antero announcement about their ethane contribution to the proposed new cracker, along with a report of who said what about the deal at yesterday’s Charleston conference…
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Odebrecht’s WV Ethane Cracker has The Big Mo–Momentum

the big moThe Shell ethane cracker plant announced for Beaver County, PA has been a roller coaster ride about whether or not it will ever get built over the past two years since it was announced. Just last week the pendulum swung again and the mood turned decidedly gloomy (see Shell’s Shale Pessimism Signals Worry for Some re PA Cracker). In stark contrast to the Shell cracker, the cracker announced late last year by Odebrecht–to be built in Parkersburg, WV–seems to have an air of optimism and inevitability (see WV Ethane Cracker – Cautious Optimism in the Mountain State). Odebrecht officials are careful to say it’s not a 100% done deal yet and that we are “very early” in the process of making this multi-billion dollar project a reality. But what MDN notices about the Odebrecht cracker is forward momentum. Rapid progress. Enthusiasm. It just “feels” like the Odebrecht project is going to happen.

Here is an update on the progress made to date on Odebrecht’s planned ethane cracker complex in Parkersburg, and what will happen next…
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Economist Releases Report on WV Cracker Plant’s Economic Impact

West Virginia’s coming ethane cracker plant continues to generate positive economic news. Yesterday the former director of West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and professor emeritus at WVU, Tom Witt, released a study he conducted on behalf of Braskem America (i.e. Odebrecht, the company building the cracker). The new study details specifics for how many jobs and how much money the proposed cracker and associated petrochemical plants will generate. And it’s truly astonishing.

Here’s an overview of the economic miracle about to hit WV (and beyond)…
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WV Cracker Plant has Already Purchased Land for Future Site

In November, WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced he finally had him a cracker (see WV Announces Brazilian Company to Build Ethane Cracker Complex). By Dec. 31, Odebrecht, the company that will build the ethane cracker, had purchased the future site for their proposed plant in Wood County, WV through a holding company–for $10.9 million. A chemical plant currently located on the site employing 130 people will close in 2015. But have no fear–when the cracker plant is built, it will (for a time) employ 10,000 people to build it. It’s a massive undertaking that will ultimately lead to an estimated $7 billion economic injection just for the state of West Virginia. Talk about an economic revolution!

Compare WV’s proposed cracker to the Pennsylvania proposed cracker plant. Shell announced their intention to build a PA cracker plant in June 2011. How long did it take Shell to purchase the property on which they plan to build their cracker plant? They still haven’t purchased it. Let’s see: under 2 months to purchase the property for the WV cracker, still no purchase after 2 1/2 years for the PA cracker. Which one do you think is serious about building, and which one will get built first?…
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WV Announces Brazilian Company to Build Ethane Cracker Complex

celebrateYesterday West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was flanked by representatives from Brazilian chemical company Odebrecht to announce the company has chosen a site near Parkersburg, WV (third largest city in the state) to be the potential site of an ethane cracker plant complex. The complex will have an ethane cracker, three polyethylene plants and infrastructure for water treatment and energy co-generation. Gov. Tomblin was justifiably proud to make the announcement, calling it a “game changer” for West Virginia. He’s right.

Odebrecht will build the plant, and once built, it will be operated by Braskem, another Brazilian company with operations in Pennsylvania (51% owned by Odebrecht). MDN told you about Braskem’s interest in a WV ethane cracker all the way back in March 2012 (see Second Company Interested in Building Cracker Plant IDed). So it appears Odebrecht/Braskem have been sniffing around the concept of building a cracker in WV for at least a year and a half. We have a lot of coverage of the announcement below. The key word here is: caution. Like the Shell cracker, this is very early in the process and not yet a 100% done deal…
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Clash of the Ethane Cracker Titans: PA vs WV Smackdown

As MDN mentions in today’s companion story about the newly announced potential ethane cracker plant complex to be built near Parkersburg, WV, there is angst in Pittsburgh about whether or not a WV cracker plant will help or harm the potential cracker plant to be built by Shell northwest of Pittsburgh in Beaver County, PA.

The Pittsburgh Business Times, a bit critical and skeptical of the WV cracker (no surprise there), tackles the question of, “Is you a friend or is you foe?”…
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