Big Green Groups Retract Opposition to PTT Ohio Cracker Air Permit

The Sierra Club, along with some lesser-known but equally radical enviro groups, filed a court challenge to an air quality permit granted by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker plant project in Belmont County, OH back in January (see Radical Green Groups Appeal Ohio Cracker Plant Air Permit). Yesterday those same groups agreed to retract their objection to the permit. Wait, did Big Green just get the natgas old-time religion?
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A Tour of Shell’s Massive Ethane Cracker Plant in SWPA

Although we haven’t (yet) had the pleasure of a tour at the massive Shell ethane cracker plant complex in Beaver County, PA (near Pittsburgh), we’ve spoken to others who have. Universally they say it is a marvel to behold. The world’s second largest crane, dubbed “the Mother of All Cranes” is on site, along with about 100 other cranes (no lie, at least 100 cranes). The site is teeming with thousands (yes thousands) of construction workers–some 5,000 right now, and will reach 6,000 by year’s end. But we’ve turned a corner. According to officials, most of the large structures have now been built and the work is shifting to connect them all. Come along with us for a video tour of the facility.
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NETL Makes Case in Congress for Big Appalachian NGL Storage Hub

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) recently pulled together a report (“findings”) that were circulated to Congress, making the case for a large-scale natural gas liquids (NGL) storage and trading hub in the Marcellus/Utica region. No doubt this report was a response to moves by the radical left to prevent such a hub from receiving any kind of federal loan guarantees.
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PBS Goes to Scotland, Discovers Shale/Plastics Aren’t Bad After All

PBS reporter Reid Frazier should enjoy what is likely to be his one and only trip to Europe on the StateImpact Pennsylvania company dime. He’s gone there to follow Marcellus molecules exported from Pennsylvania, to see how they’re used. Frazier’s first stop is Scotland where they use our ethane to create plastics. Frazier’s report is actually (shock warning, please sit down) pretty fair and balanced–even complimentary of the Marcellus Shale and the plastics industry! Frazier’s overlords inside the William Penn Foundation (big financial backers of StateImpact) are NOT going to be happy with his reports if they continue like this one.
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What Happens to Most Currently Produced Marcellus/Utica Ethane?

We’ve mentioned this in passing in a few articles in the past, but thought it might be good dedicate an entire post to it. What happens, currently, with the prodigious amounts of ethane produced in the Marcellus/Utica? Ethane, as you may know, is one of the natural gas liquids (NGL) hydrocarbons that comes out of the ground along with methane. Methane is CH4, ethane is C2H6. Next to methane, ethane is the most produced hydrocarbon in the M-U. How much gets produced, and what happens to all that ethane?
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Enterprise Looks to Expand ATEX Ethane Pipeline to Gulf Coast

ATEX route (click for larger version)

The Appalachia-to-Texas Express (ATEX) ethane pipeline was completed and began to flow 125,000 barrels per day of Marcellus/Utica ethane to the Gulf Coast in 2013. Enterprise Products Partners, the builder and operator of the pipeline, is now considering upgrades that will expand capacity along the pipeline another 50,000 barrels per day.
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President Trump Visits Shell Cracker Plant Near Pittsburgh

Trump speech at Monaca, PA (credit: Philadelphia Inquirer)

President Trump visited the Shell ethane cracker plant site yesterday in Monaca, PA, along with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Trump was greeted by a crowd of some 5,000 people, many (most?) of them workers at the site–union members. When was the last time you heard about 5,000 union members attending a rally for a Democrat?! But we digress. Trump toured the facility and delivered a rousing hour-plus speech to those gathered. There is no mistaking the fact that Donald Trump is a big supporter of the oil and gas and petrochemical industries.
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Trump Takes Credit for Shell Cracker Plant – Media Blows a Gasket

Democrats and the media (one and the same) are truly a conflicted, schizophrenic bunch. Both national and local Democrats who pretend to be unbiased journalists (what a joke) couldn’t wait to blast out headlines from yesterday’s visit by President Trump to Monaca, PA that Trump is falsely “taking credit” for the Shell ethane cracker, a plant that began life–at least planning stages–during the reign of their Lord and Savior Barack Hussein Obama. Yet in the next breath they write that this plant Trump is taking credit for will produce eeeeevil plastic that’s dooming all life on Mom Earth to extinction. They want credit for the plant, yet they don’t want the plant. What’s a lib Dem to do?
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PTT Buying Homes Near Proposed Cracker Plant in Belmont County

PTT Global Chemical continues to behave is if it’s going forward with building a $7.5 billion ethane cracker in Dilles Bottom (Belmont County), Ohio. The latest evidence? The company is actively buying up homes close to the proposed site. Over the past two months the company has snapped up six homes and is in discussions right now with others.
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Braskem Gives Up on WV Cracker – Parkersburg Site for Sale

A sad end to the hope that Braskem, the largest petrochemical company in Latin America (headquartered in Brazil), is going to build an ethane cracker in Wood County, WV, near Parkersburg. We hasten to add Braskem leaving doesn’t mean someone else won’t will build a cracker plant there–it just won’t be Braskem. News is leaking that Braskem has put the land they had purchased for a possible cracker up for sale.
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Supplier Fair to Sell Products for OH Cracker Held in…London?

Little by little, piece by piece, the evidence continues to mount that PTT Global Chemical and their partner Daelim Chemical will make a positive final investment decision (FID) to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH. On Monday we told you the State of Ohio is investing another $30 million in the project, even though the project is not officially a done deal, yet (see Ohio Pays Another $30M to Kickstart PTT Belmont Cracker Project). Our latest bit of evidence that the Belmont cracker will indeed get built: PTT is holding a “supplier fair” for companies to win contracts to provide various supplies and equipment for the facility. Oh, and the supplier fair is being held in London–as in the United Kingdom!
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Steubenville, OH in the Catbird Seat – Between Two Crackers

Location of Steubenville, halfway between Monaca, PA and Dilles Bottom, OH

Several weeks ago MDN editor Jim Willis attended the 2019 Northeast Petrochemical Conference and Expo in Pittsburgh. A major reason for attending such events is to connect with others in the industry. On this trip, Jim had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Bryce Custer, business director for global commercial real estate company NAI’s Ohio River Corridor division. Bryce’s job is to find real estate for companies in places where maybe real estate isn’t (yet) for sale. Companies like manufacturers who want to locate near the Shell and (soon, hopefully) PTT ethane cracker facilities–looking to locate in the Ohio River Valley. Bryce helps them find suitable locations. Bryce recently spoke to the Steubenville Revitalization Group and had an interesting observation about Steubenville’s geography.
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Ohio Pays Another $30M to Kickstart PTT Belmont Cracker Project

We’ve found one more bit of evidence that Ohio officials believe, rather strongly, that PTT Global Chemical will move forward with building a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Belmont County. JobsOhio, a private non-profit with a board appointed by the Ohio governor, gets most of its operating revenue from taxes on liquor sales in Ohio. JobsOhio previously spent $17 million in 2016 to clean up the site where PTT says they may/maybe/might build a cracker plant (see JobsOhio Picks Up the $17M Cost for Prepping OH Cracker Site). JobsOhio has just committed another $30 million for “site preparation work” for the cracker. One news source reports this is “the largest grant ever awarded in the Buckeye State” (by JobsOhio).
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Shell’s Falcon Ethane Pipe – Building a Pipeline the Right Way

The Falcon ethane pipeline being built by Shell in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio is unique in many ways. Falcon is a 97-mile, two-legged pipeline system to carry ethane to the mighty Shell cracker plant now under construction in Beaver County, PA (near Pittsburgh). We spotted an article about the pipeline and its construction. According to a local conservation office in Beaver County, pipeline construction “hasn’t even affected us [wildlife] a bit,” thanks to careful planning by Shell. A pipeline everybody loves? Is that even possible?!
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Ohio Says PTT Cracker Will Get Built – Bechtel Confirms EPC Contract

Last Thursday and Friday, MDN attended the Northeast Petrochemical Conference & Exhibition in Pittsburgh. There were a number of interesting stories coming from the event that we will chronicle this week. However, there was one bit of breaking news from the event: Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals Senior Project Manager of Pennsylvania Chemicals, Paul Marsden, made official what we previously shared as a rumor–that Bechtel has been selected as the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor to build the PTT cracker plant complex, when and if a positive final investment decision is made. According to a number of sources, that decision will get made this year.
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Anti Tries to Scare Maryland County re NGL Storage Hub Impacts

Ann Bristow, Professor Emeritus at Frostburg State University and resident of Garrett County, is once again trying to foment irrational fear of the fossil fuel industry. Bristow was one of the “experts” that kept fracking out of Garrett County (one of two Maryland counties with commercial shale deposits), harming its citizens economically. Now she’s trying to whip up opposition to a regional ethane storage hub that won’t even be located in Maryland.
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