PTT Delays Final Cracker Decision to at Least Middle of 2021

Once again PTT Global Chemical is changing the timeline for a final investment decision (FID) to build a $10 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH–for the umpteenth time. The most recent timeline had a decision coming by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year. Whoops, they did it again! The new timeline is now “at least the middle of 2021.”
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With Petchem Demand Higher, Ethane Getting “Rejected” Less in M-U

The mighty Mariner East pipeline system (ME1 and ME2) flows up to 345,000 barrels per day of NGLs, including propane and ethane, to the Philadelphia area where most of the ethane gets exported. Enterprise Products Partners’ 1,200-mile Appalachia-to-Texas (ATEX) ethane pipeline flows 145,000 barrels per day of ethane to the Gulf Coast. Even with all that ethane flowing out of our region to other markets, and even with some ethane sold and used in our region, most of the ethane produced in the M-U gets “rejected.”
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Marcellus/Utica Ethane Exports Head to Europe, Asia, S. America

ethane carrier

The Marcellus/Utica region has far more ethane production than we can use–even if the mighty Shell and PTT cracker plants were both in-service and operating. In fact, ethane is still (for many M-U drillers) a waste product that must be blended with natural gas or otherwise disposed of. Drillers are paying to get rid of ethane! Exporting ethane is an important way for M-U drillers to, in some cases, break even and make a profit.
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Mountaineer Asks Ohio to Cancel NGL Storage Hub Permits

Two months ago PTT Global Chemical signed a contract with the Mountaineer NGL Storage project to use Mountaineer’s planned underground storage facility in Monroe County, OH to supply ethane to PTT’s cracker plant in neighboring Belmont County when/if the cracker gets built (see PTT Signs Contract with Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub for OH Cracker). However, Mountaineer has just asked Ohio to cancel key permits for their project. What’s going on?
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Range Signs Deal to be Main Ethane Supplier for PTT Ohio Cracker

Earlier this week we brought you a post exploring whether or not PTT Global Chemical will, in the end, actually build a $10 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, Ohio (see Is PTT Going to Build a Cracker in Belmont County, OH…or Not?). Yesterday gave us one more strong signal for the “yes they will build it” column.
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Potential Exxon Interest in Building M-U Cracker Plant Goes Cold

Last year MDN shared with you the rumor that Exxon Mobil was sniffing around Pennsylvania, investigating the prospect of building a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker like the Shell cracker being built near Pittsburgh. Those rumors went on for a while and even included evaluation of the Philadelphia area, not just Pittsburgh. Last week Exxon said unequivocally they have no active plans for such a facility in the Keystone State. Bummer.
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Is PTT Going to Build a Cracker in Belmont County, OH…or Not?

We have another article today that looks at a current issue from both sides–whether or not PTT Global Chemical will, in the end, build a $10 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, Ohio. We’ve written many articles about the potential PTT cracker plant since April 2015 when PTT, a huge petrochemical company based in Thailand, first announced they would consider building an ethane cracker plant in Ohio (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site).
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Colluding Big Green Groups Sue to Stop Ohio NGL Storage Hub

A group of far-left, so-called environmental groups, including, Earthjustice, Buckeye Environmental Network, Concerned Ohio River Residents, Freshwater Accountability Project, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and the Sierra Club, are suing the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in an attempt to overturn permits issued by ODNR to build an underground NGL storage hub in Monroe County, Ohio.
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Trump Official Visits PTT OH Cracker Site, Pledges Full Support

DOE Deputy Sec. Mark Menezes at PTT cracker site (click for larger version)

Prior to joining EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in Pittsburgh to unveil rollbacks of egregious overregulation of methane by the Obama Administration (see today’s companion story), Deputy Secretary of Energy, Mark Menezes, first visited Belmont County, Ohio–at the site of the proposed PTT ethane cracker plant. Menezes was there to offer moral support from President Trump for the project. Menezes was recently confirmed (on Aug. 4) as Deputy Secretary of DOE. The PTT cracker site visit was Menezes’ first official visit (to anywhere) in his new role.
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PTT Signs Contract with Mountaineer NGL Storage Hub for OH Cracker

Just yesterday MDN told you about one expert’s view that there won’t be one massive NGL storage hub built in the Marcellus/Utica, but a number of smaller hubs (see Expert Says Massive Appalachian NGL Storage Hub Won’t Get Built). One of the smaller hubs we highlighted is the Mountaineer NGL Storage project. Lo and behold…yesterday PTT Global Chemical, the Thailand-based petrochemical giant seeking to build a giant ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH, signed a contract with Mountaineer to use their NGL storage services when/if the mighty cracker gets built.
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Shell Builds COVID Testing Lab at Cracker Site, Adds More Workers

Last week we brought you news that Shell had temporarily suspended adding back some 300 workers per week at its ethane cracker construction site in Beaver County, PA following a spike in COVID-19 coronavirus cases (see Shell Stops Adding Workers at Cracker Site After New Virus Cases). The new news is that as of today, Shell has resumed adding workers back because they’ve built their own COVID testing lab *on site* at the cracker facility. They can now get test COVID results in 4 hours instead of 4-6 days. Sometimes you just have to do it yourself.
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Shell Stops Adding Workers at Cracker Site After New Virus Cases

When the COVID-19 coronavirus hit, Shell stopped all work on its mighty cracker plant in Beaver County, PA, sending nearly 8,000 workers home in mid-March for what was thought to be “a few days to a few weeks” (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-1). In early May Shell began bringing back 300 workers each week. Roughly 3,500 work on-site now. Because of a spike in new coronavirus cases among workers, Shell has temporarily stopped adding back new workers.
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Appalachian Storage Hub Conference Aug 27: In-Person and Online

MDN is happy to help promote the 4th Annual Appalachian Storage Hub Conference coming August 27. This conference provides comprehensive information about the development of the petrochemical industry in the Appalachian Basin. Here’s the exciting part: You can attend the event in-person at the Southpointe Office Park (near Pittsburgh), or for the first time, attend online virtually. At this event, you’ll hear…
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PTT Loses Partner/Financial Backer for Ohio Cracker Plant Project

PTT Global Chemical yesterday issued a press release to say its major partner and financial backer for a planned $10 billion ethane cracker facility in Belmont County, OH–South Korea’s Daelim Chemical USA–has decided to pull out of the project. PTT said it remains committed to the project and will look for a new partner.
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3,000 Workers Back on the Job at Shell Cracker Construction Site

Shell slowly but surely continues to ramp back up the work being done at its mighty ethane cracker construction site in Beaver County, PA following a shutdown of activity due to the coronavirus pandemic. When the COVID-19 coronavirus hit in March, Shell stopped all work on the cracker plant, sending nearly 8,000 workers home in mid-March for what was thought to be “a few days to a few weeks” (see Shell Shuts Down SWPA Cracker Plant Construction re COVID-1). In early May Shell began bringing back roughly 300 workers each week. The total number of workers back on the job now stands at 3,000.
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Leftwing Academic Hacks Trash Talk PA, OH Cracker Plants

A group of leftwing radical professors (all of the Democrats) from seven universities in Ohio and Pennsylvania have colluded to write a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The letter trash talks the billions of dollars in economic impact and tens of thousands of jobs ethane cracker plants and the petrochemical industry will have in the region. The leftist gang of seven poo-poos those estimates and says the proposed PTT cracker is too “risky” to approve. How do they figure?
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