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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WV Announces New $350M Methanol Plant in Pleasants County

methanol

Some exciting news to share! A company called West Virginia Methanol Inc. has selected a site in Pleasants County, WV to develop to build a $350 million methanol plant. Methanol plants convert natural gas into methanol, used as a chemical feedstock (raw material) to create other things, like gasoline, antifreeze, plastic bottles–even LED and LCD screens. Methanol plants use a LOT of natural gas.
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Antis Organize “Nurdle Patrols” to Police Shell Cracker

A group of anti-fossil nutters who devoted themselves to blocking Marcellus/Utica drilling around the Ambridge Reservoir have turned their attention to the Shell ethane cracker plant in Beaver County. They wanted to stop the cracker from getting built, but given the plant is now 70% built and it’s a 100% guarantee it will get done and go online, the nutters have turned their attention to aggressive monitoring of the plant and the pollution, they say, that will come from it.
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Clinton County, PA Petchem Plant One Step Closer with Grants

In February MDN brought you news about a new half-billion-dollar petrochemical plant that will convert Marcellus Shale gas into feedstock (chemicals) to be used in agriculture, manufacturing, medicine, and transportation, coming in Clinton County, PA (see $500M Marcellus-Fed Petchem Plant Coming to Clinton County, PA). The project has just gotten a step closer to reality with a pair of grants to conduct third party studies.
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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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Clinton County, PA Petchem Plant to Drill 25 New Marcellus Wells

Clinton County, PA

Earlier this year MDN brought you news about a new half-billion-dollar petrochemical plant that will convert Marcellus Shale gas into feedstock (chemicals) to be used in agriculture, manufacturing, medicine, and transportation, coming in Clinton County in central Pennsylvania (see $500M Marcellus-Fed Petchem Plant Coming to Clinton County, PA). The project is progressing and we have more details about what, exactly, the plant will produce.
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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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Victory Lap! Gov. Wolf Signs Tax Break Bill for New Petchem Plants

It’s time for a victory lap. Pennsylvania Republicans, with the help of some brave Democrats (and former Democrats), passed and convinced Gov. Wolf to sign a bill into law that will grant tax breaks to companies willing to build brand new petrochemical plants in the Keystone State–plants that use huge quantities of Marcellus Shale gas. Wolf signed the bill yesterday, after vetoing a similar bill earlier this year. The normally chatty Wolf press operation barely mentioned his signature on the bill.
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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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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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PA House Votes to Pass Resurrected Petchem Bill, Wolf to Sign

Yesterday MDN told you the full Pennsylvania State Senate, with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, voted on and passed a bill to grant tax break incentives to huge petrochemical plants willing to build new facilities in PA–facilities that will use Marcellus Shale methane (see PA Senate Votes to Pass Resurrected Petchem Bill in Record Time). Later in the day yesterday, the full House wasted no time in passing the same bill–by a whopping 163-38. Gov. Wolf said as soon as the bill hits his desk he’s going to sign it. Victory!
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10 Democrat Senators Ask Warren Buffet to Invest in WV NatGas

Waaaiiit just a minute. Did we just slip through the looking glass? Ten Democrat State Senators from West Virginia sent a letter earlier this week to Warren Buffett asking the billionaire to consider investing in natural gas projects in the Mountain State. The letter states their sadness that Atlantic Coast Pipeline was canceled, but expresses hope that Buffett’s purchase of Dominion’s other pipeline assets augurs a bright future. We could have sworn this letter was sent by conservative Republicans!
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PA Senate Votes to Pass Resurrected Petchem Bill in Record Time

Wow! That was fast! Last week we brought you the rumor that a bill to allow incentives for petrochemical plants willing to build new facilities in Pennsylvania (generating hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of investment in the state) appears to be back on after the bill was previously vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this year (see Bill to Bring Cracker-Type Investment to Northeast PA Resurrected). The radicals at PennFuture sounded the alarm over the weekend that House Bill (HB) 1100 is back on and that Wolf is ready to sign a revised version (see PennFuture Wages War Against Fossil Fuel Jobs in PA re HB 1100). Actually, the bill has been renamed to HB 732 and it already passed a vote by the full PA Senate yesterday!
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PennFuture Wages War Against Fossil Fuel Jobs in PA re HB 1100

Last week we brought you the rumor that a bill to allow incentives for petrochemical plants willing to build new facilities in Pennsylvania (generating hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of investment in the state) appears to be back on after the bill was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this year (see Bill to Bring Cracker-Type Investment to Northeast PA Resurrected). The radicals at PennFuture, a profoundly partisan/leftist organization fueled with Big Green donations, is raising the alarm that House Bill (HB) 1100 is back on and that Wolf is ready to sign a revised version.
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