PTT Awards Belmont Cracker Engineering Contract to Bechtel

PTT has awarded the contract to build the Belmont, OH ethane cracker to Bechtel. At least, that’s the rumor swirling around. We have to say right up front, this information has not yet been announced and therefore is not 100% verified–but we’ve talked to a highly placed industry source and we believe it to be accurate. Below we offer insight into why we believe this information is accurate, and why PTT has not yet made their official final investment decision (FID) announcement, and when they might do so…
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Industry Expert Says 3 More Crackers Coming to M-U

Last week the second annual Appalachian Storage Hub Conference convened at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe. As we pointed out in a post last week, the main topic of discussion was the $10 billion NGL/ethane storage hub (see Southpointe Event Focuses on M-U NGL Storage Hub). As big as the storage hub project is (and the news surrounding it), there was even bigger news coming from the event: 3 more ethane cracker projects for the Marcellus/Utica are likely to announce in the coming year! Tom Gellrich, principal of Top Line Analytics, talks to a lot of people. He’s an insider. At last week’s event, Tom shared some of his insights. He said PTT Global will commit to its previously announced cracker in Belmont County, OH, sometime this year. No real revelation there–we’ve been expecting such an announcement for the past two years. That’s one of three. Then Tom said the on again, off again Braskem/Odebrecht plan to build a cracker near Parkersburg, WV is on again and he expects an announcement to that effect in the next year. Wow! That’s two of three. And then Tom teased the crowd by saying there’s a THIRD project bubbling in the background. No details on who is behind it or where it will be located. Tom says to look for an announcement on this third cracker project by this time next year. Bonus: Tom believes Shell will take a hard look at building a new/second cracker right next to the first, after the first is completed (a fourth new cracker?). We have embarrassing riches of ethane crackers! Each one costing multiple billions of dollars to build…
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PTT Buys Another 300+ Acres for Belmont County, OH Cracker

In yet another very good sign that the proposed PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH is headed for a positive final investment decision (FID), PTT has just purchased another 300+ acres to go along with the previous acreage they purchased as the site for the future cracker/petrochemical project. Last July MDN reported PTT had spent $13.8 million to buy 168 acres at the proposed site for a second Appalachia ethane cracker, in Belmont County, OH (see PTT Global Buys Land for Belmont, OH Ethane Cracker Plant). That site, the former R.E. Burger power plant property (owned by FirstEnergy Corp.), is the primary location for the proposed cracker. However, more land is needed. A deed filed earlier this week shows that PTT has purchased another 300+ acres for $17.5 million from the Ohio-West Virginia Excavating company. Together, both parcels are roughly 500 acres, which is more than enough land for the facility. Until now numbers like $6.5 billion have been thrown around as the total project cost. The number has now gone up–to as much as $10 billion! Here’s the latest good news that it’s looking better and better for a second ethane cracker in Appalachia…
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Still No Deal on Property Next to PTT OH Ethane Cracker Site

Homeowners who live near the location of a possible ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH are running out of time to negotiate a deal to sell their properties. Living next door to a cracker plant is not anyone’s idea of paradise. There will be noise, and smells and (yes) some air pollution coming from the plant. Best to sell now before the plant begins construction. However, representatives for PTT Global Chemical which will build the plant (IF it gets built), say they already have all the land they need for the facility (see PTT Global Buys Land for Belmont, OH Ethane Cracker Plant). Not needing the land puts PTT in a good negotiating position. There are 10 homes in the general vicinity of the proposed cracker plant whose owners want to sell. PTT says they’ve offered the homeowners 125% of fair market value for their homes. The lawyer representing the homeowners says the valuations are not accurate. However, it’s far from being a stand-off. There is no malice or vitriol. It sounds to us like both sides think a deal will get done. It just boils down to finalizing numbers. Here’s the latest on real estate for the proposed Belmont cracker plant…
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PTT Global Ohio Cracker Grows to $10B Project w/New Partner

With much fanfare, yesterday a press event was held in Columbus, OH to make an official announcement of what we already know: that South Korea’s Daelim Chemical, a subsidiary of Daelim Industrial, is now a partner with PTT Global Chemical in the Belmont County ethane cracker project. We previously brought you that news on Feb. 1 (see PTT’s “Big Announcement” – Gets a New Partner for Belmont Cracker). OH Gov. John Kasich along with officials from PTT and Daelim held a presser yesterday to officially announce the partnership, but also to announce that PTT has pulled the trigger on buying more land for the project–a positive sign. There was also talk by all three that the size of the project has grown. Plans are now that the project will cost $7.5-$10 billion to build, and it will have the same daily capacity as the Shell cracker now under construction in PA–using up to 100,000 barrels of ethane per day to make ethylene (raw plastic). Disappointingly, there was no “final investment decision” (FID) announcement. However, Kasich said he is “very hopeful” all three will be back, soon, to make an FID announcement…
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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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PTT Global Chemical Officially Delays Cracker Decision Until 2018

PTT Global Chemical, based in Thailand, continues to delay a final investment decision (FID) regarding their much-ballyhooed ethane cracker project in Belmont County, OH. In April 2015, PTT announced they are interested in building a ~$5 billion ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). In May 2016, a story in the Bangkok Post said the final investment decision (FID) will definitely come in 2017. In December 2016, Belmont County officials said the FID would come by the end of March this year (see OH Cracker Final Decision Coming Soon, Site Now Cleared & Ready). But in February, PTT said the FID won’t come until “late 2017,” which is “several months later than we originally announced” (see PTT Global Delays Final Investment Decision for OH Ethane Cracker). Two weeks ago a PTT representative said the company will make some sort of an announcement “by the end of the year” (see PTT Global Final Decision re Belmont Cracker Plant Late Again). We now have the announcement: “PTTGC America will have a significant update that will demonstrate momentum for this project early in 2018. We thank all Ohio and Belmont County partners for their support, and we wish you a happy holiday season.” So the big announcement is that there will be another big announcement in “early 2018.” Yeah, we’re becoming irritated at being teased that the decision is just around the corner…
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PTT Global Final Decision re Belmont Cracker Plant Late Again

An MDN reader recently asked us, “Hey, what’s up with the Belmont County, OH ethane cracker? We haven’t read anything in a while.” You haven’t read anything on MDN, nor anywhere else, because there’s been nothing to read. PTT Global Chemical, based in Thailand, announced in April 2015 they are interested in building a $5 billion ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). In May 2016, a story in the Bangkok Post said the final investment decision (FID) will definitely come in 2017, but they called the decision “delayed.” PTT disagreed with that assessment, saying a decision coming in 2016 or 2017 is not “delayed” (see PTT Global Says Belmont, OH Ethane Cracker NOT Delayed). In December 2016, Belmont County officials said the FID would come by the end of March this year (see OH Cracker Final Decision Coming Soon, Site Now Cleared & Ready). But in February, PTT said the FID won’t come until “late 2017,” which is “several months later than we originally announced” (see PTT Global Delays Final Investment Decision for OH Ethane Cracker). It’s pretty “late” in 2017, wouldn’t you say? A company representative says the company will make some sort of an announcement “by the end of the year,” but that’s all he will say. It certainly doesn’t seem as if an FID is in the cards in the next three weeks…
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Locals Pumped About OH Cracker; WV Cracker Still Not Dead

Belmont County Port Authority Director Larry Merry says he “can’t think of a single reason” why PTT Global Chemical won’t build a promised $6 billion ethane cracker facility in Dilles Bottom. Mike Jacoby, VP of business development for the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth concurs, saying he is “optimistic” and sees “no problems” ahead for the PTT cracker. In addition to locals in Ohio pumped about the PTT cracker and the promised final investment decision by the end of this year, there is still hope for a cracker plant in West Virginia too. WV officials say Braskem is still expressing interest in a cracker project in the Parkersburg area. Here’s some of the chitter-chatter among pumped-up officials attending a forum last month in Wheeling, WV…
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PTT Global Signs Memorandum with Ohio re Belmont Ethane Cracker

On Monday, Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, president and CEO of PTT Global Chemical (Thailand’s largest petrochemical company) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JobsOhio regarding PTT’s proposed ethane cracker plant. The MOU pledges to “enhance the well-being and quality of life” for those living in the area near the proposed cracker plant. PTT announced in April 2015 they are interested in building a $5 billion ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). Since that time, all of the signs have been positive. PTT has said a final investment decision will be forthcoming by the end of this year. The MOU signing ceremony on Monday is yet more evidence that this project will happen. The ceremony itself is kind of interesting. It was not held in Ohio–but in Washington, D.C. where a trade delegation from Thailand was visiting (Punmeechaow was part of the delegation). So John Minor, president of JobsOhio, traveled to D.C. for the signing ceremony, which was held in what we can only describe as a garage…
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Ohio Congressman “Extremely Optimistic” PTT Will Build Cracker

We’re always on the lookout for news about a final investment decision by PTT Global Chemical to build a $5 billion ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH. Recently PTT spent $13.8 million to buy 168 acres at the proposed cracker plant site (see PTT Global Buys Land for Belmont, OH Ethane Cracker Plant). The company then optioned more land surrounding the site they just purchased (see PTT Global Buying Land Next to Proposed Ohio Cracker Site). Those are VERY positive signs in our book. Here’s another positive sign. OH Congressman Bill Johnson, whose district includes the location for the proposed PTT cracker plant, recently told members of the Ohio Valley Oil and Gas Association that he is “extremely optimistic” that the project will get built. On what does Congressman Johnson base his optimism?…
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PTT Global Buying Land Next to Proposed Ohio Cracker Site

Work is now underway on Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker in Beaver County, PA. What’s the status of the region’s second likely cracker plant, in Ohio? PTT Global Chemical previously announced they are interested in building a $5 billion petrochemical complex, including an ethane cracker, in Belmont County, OH at the site of the old R.E. Burger power plant. However, they have repeatedly said a “final investment decision” (FID) will not happen until the end of 2017. This is the same routine Shell used. In fact, Shell dragged out their FID a lot longer than PTT has. As with Shell, we look for signals that the FID will be a positive decision to move forward with construction. And as with Shell, we see those positive signs. Shell purchased the land for the site before announcing their FID. As we told you last month, PTT has now done the same–buying the former R.E. Burger site from FirstEnergy for $13.8 million (see PTT Global Buys Land for Belmont, OH Ethane Cracker Plant). Shell then bought some of the surrounding land next to the original site. And now we see the same behavior from PTT, which has signed option agreements to buy land from eight properties in the area close to the R.E. Burger site. We take that as a VERY good sign about the future of this project…
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PTT Global Buys Land for Belmont, OH Ethane Cracker Plant

Although a final investment decision (FID) is still months away, Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical decided spending $13.8 million to buy 168 acres at the proposed site for a second Appalachia ethane cracker, in Belmont County, OH, would be a good investment. Which they have now done. The deal, which closed in June, is just now coming to light. PTT bought the land for the site from FirstEnergy Corporation. The deal was recorded at the Belmont County Courthouse on June 14. This is yet another sign that PTT will make a positive FID later this year. Even though PTT just bought the land, work was previously done on the site to clear it and get it ready for construction, as we reported in December (see OH Cracker Final Decision Coming Soon, Site Now Cleared & Ready). Fingers crossed that this $5 billion project gets the go-ahead later this year…
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PTT Global Delays Final Investment Decision for OH Ethane Cracker

PTT Global Chemical, based in Thailand, announced in April 2015 they are interested in building a $5 billion ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). Last May a story in the Bangkok Post said the final investment decision (FID) will definitely come in 2017, but they called the decision “delayed.” PTT disagreed with that assessment (see PTT Global Says Belmont, OH Ethane Cracker NOT Delayed). Last December Belmont County officials said the FID would come by the end of March (see OH Cracker Final Decision Coming Soon, Site Now Cleared & Ready). The disappointing news is that PTT now says the FID won’t come until “late 2017,” which is “several months later than we originally announced.” So yes, it appears the Bangkok Post story was right after all. PTT vice president Toasaporn Boonyapipat, head of the company’s North American operations, released a statement on Tuesday to update everyone on the project timeline. State and local officials were quick to try and tamp down speculation that PTT is having second thoughts about the Belmont cracker…
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Will PTT Cracker Project in Ohio Use American, or Imported Steel?

As we inch closer to a final investment decision (FID) on the PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH, and with President Trump’s emphasis on using steel manufactured here at home for pipeline projects like Keystone XL, some are asking whether the PTT project (if it gets approved) will use American steel–or cheap, imported steel. It’s a good question…
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Ohio EPA Issues Wastewater Discharge Permit for PTT Ethane Cracker

We have some progress and movement to report about PTT Global’s proposed $6 billion ethane cracker project coming to Belmont County, OH. The rumor is that PTT will announce a final investment decision (FID) in March–just two short months away. We wait with eager anticipation! However, in the meantime, the project appears to be proceeding full speed ahead. The latest evidence of that comes from a recent permit issued for the project by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The permit allows the cracker plant to discharge wastewater (which is far different from drilling wastewater) into the Ohio River. The EPA notes, in granting the permit, that although the discharge may “result in changes from current water quality conditions” the discharge “cannot violate Ohio’s water quality standards that protect human health and the environment.” Next up is an air permit from the Ohio EPA, which the agency is currently working on. Here’s the deets on the wastewater permit just issued…
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