PA Enviro Hearing Board Rejects Air Permit for Marcus Hook

Marcus Hook complex (credit: Wikipedia)

Score a minor victory for the odious Philadelphia Clean Air Council in their fight to block any/all fossil fuel projects any/everywhere. They’ve convinced the PA Environmental Hearing Board to question a previously issued air quality permit for the Marcus Hook refinery in Delaware County, near Philadelphia.
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MarkWest Plant Explosion in Washington Co. Injures 4; 1 Critical

An explosion and fire last night around 6 pm at the MarkWest Energy natural gas processing plant in Chartiers (Washington County), PA sent four people to the hospital–carried there by helicopter. All of them remain hospitalized, and one of them is, sadly, in critical condition. The explosion happened near “two temporary tanks that were onsite for routine maintenance,” according to a MarkWest statement. The tanks hold, “liquid ethylene glycol plus hydrocarbons”–used to clean incoming raw natural gas. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection is on location today to determine what happened and why–and to ensure there have been no negative impacts to the environment.
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Small but Determined Group Wants to Block Ohio Cracker Plant

Last week the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency held an information session (to give out info) along with a public hearing (to accept comments) on the draft air pollution permit for PTT Global Chemical’s proposed ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, OH (see Ohio EPA to Hold Air Permit Hearing for PTT Cracker Nov. 27). Some 100 or so people turned up for the hearing, according to media accounts. Perhaps 35 people spoke during the public comment period. There were both supporters and detractors. We suppose we knew there were folks opposed to the project, but this is really the first time we’ve read about an organized effort to stop the project. That effort comes from the usual (irrational) anti-fossil fuel suspects who oppose all drilling, pipelines, and anything else to do with fossil fuels.
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Ohio EPA to Hold Water Permit Hearing for PTT Cracker Dec. 12

Still no sign from PTT Global Chemical that they will announce a final decision to proceed with building a $6 billion ethane cracker in Belmont County, OH, by the end of this year. The project was first announced in April 2015 (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). Since that time, PTT has purchased land, paid $100 million to get the cracker facility designed, and repeatedly said a final investment decision (FID) is imminent. It’s been imminent for more than two years now.
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New Fortress Energy Building Second PA LNG Export Facility

Earlier this month MDN brought you the exciting news that New Fortress Energy (NFE) is planning to build an LNG (liquefied natural gas) liquefaction plant in Wyalusing (Bradford County), PA in order to export Marcellus gas (see Big News! Marcellus LNG Export Plant Coming to Landlocked NEPA). The $800 million plant will supercool and liquefy locally extracted Marcellus Shale gas and ship it first by truck, eventually by rail, to “customers in the U.S. as well as abroad.” NFE recently filed a Securities and Exchange Commission document called an S-1. In that filing, we learn some dynamite news: NFE is working on a *second* Pennsylvania LNG facility! Not only that, but they have plans to build another 5-10 such facilities over the next five years–although we don’t know if all of those will be in the Marcellus/Utica. Something else we learned in the S-1 is how NFE plans to export the LNG they produce in Wyalusing to other countries.
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FERC Grants Favorable EIS to Jacksonville, FL LNG Export Facility

Click for larger version

Is there a connection between a new LNG export facility on the East Coast, all the way down in Jacksonville, Florida, and the Marcellus/Utica? Indeed there is! In January 2017, Eagle LNG filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a new LNG export facility at a site on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville. The LNG produced at the facility will be transported to markets in the Caribbean and Latin America for power generation, and also delivered to local and regional markets, including marine bunkering and high horsepower applications–LNG used right here at home. Last Friday FERC issued a favorable draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the project, which means FERC plans to grant final approval. Below we connect the dots for how Marcellus/Utica gas will be some of the gas feeding this new plant.
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Ohio EPA to Hold Air Permit Hearing for PTT Cracker Nov. 27

PTT Global Chemical announced in April 2015 they want to build a $6 billion ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). Since that time, PTT has purchased land, paid $100 million to get the cracker facility designed, and repeatedly said a final investment decision (FID) is imminent. It’s been imminent for more than two years now. Belmont County officials recently said the decision is coming “by the end of this year” (see Belmont, OH Leaders Say PTT Cracker Decision Coming This Year). But we’ve read comments by others who say the decision won’t happen until sometime next year (see Rumblings that PTT Will Once Again Delay OH Cracker Decision). We finally have some signs of life that a decision is, indeed, coming soon.
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Marcellus LNG Export Plant in NEPA Will Generate Lots of Traffic

Last week MDN brought you the exciting news that New Fortress Energy is planning to build an LNG (liquefied natural gas) liquefaction plant in Wyalusing (Bradford County), PA (see Big News! Marcellus LNG Export Plant Coming to Landlocked NEPA). The $800 million plant will supercool and liquefy locally extracted Marcellus Shale gas and ship it first by truck, eventually by rail, to “customers in the U.S. as well as abroad.” The plant received initial blessing from the Wyalusing Town Planning Commission last week. But not all is butterflies and unicorns. At a planning commission meeting, a New Fortress Energy official revealed that the plant will generate 10-15 tractor trailer trips per hour–24/7/365. That’s a truck turning in to the facility once every 4-6 minutes–call it an average of one every 5 minutes.
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Big News! Marcellus LNG Export Plant Coming to Landlocked NEPA

We have some exciting news to share. A company called New Fortress Energy is planning to build an LNG (liquefied natural gas) liquefaction plant in Wyalusing (Bradford County), PA. The $800 million (!) plant will supercool and liquefy locally extracted Marcellus Shale gas and ship it first by truck, eventually by rail, to “customers in the U.S. as well as abroad.” Meaning exports. How cool is that? It seems that LNG liquefaction plants no longer have to be located along a shoreline to engage in exports. Which company will provide the gas to liquefy and export? MDN has the exclusive answer, and yes, you need to be an MDN paying subscriber to find out…
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LNG Liquefaction Plant May be Coming to Central Massachusetts

Northeast Energy Center, LLC, plans a $100 million LNG plant in Charlton. (Liberty Energy Trust)

As it happens, this is the second LNG liquefaction plant story that landed on our desk today. Northeast Energy Center, backed by Liberty Energy and NorthStar Industries, is proposing to build an LNG liquefaction plant in central Massachusetts. Our other LNG plant story today (see Big News! Marcellus LNG Export Plant Coming to Landlocked NEPA) makes sense to us because that plant is located in the middle of a rich Marcellus gas region in northeast Pennsylvania. But building an LNG plant in the middle of Massachusetts, far from low-cost gas supplies? What gives?
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Belmont, OH Leaders Say PTT Cracker Decision Coming This Year

Last Friday three county commissioners from Belmont County, OH took a field trip to visit Beaver County, PA, touring the Shell ethane cracker site and talking with Beaver County officials about how the project has impacted that area. Tuesday night, a member of the Potter Township (PA) Board of Supervisors came to a meeting of local leaders in Belmont County, to talk about the Shell cracker project and what such a project in Belmont could do for the Ohio Valley. PTT Global Chemical is supposedly close to making a final investment decision on building a cracker in Belmont. The interesting comment coming from Tuesday’s meeting was about the timing of a decision to build the PTT cracker: “It [the decision] will be revealed by the end of the year.” So says Belmont officials.
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Primus Green Energy’s WV Methanol Plant Delayed to 2020

In March 2016, MDN brought you news that Primus Green Energy, a gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology company, planned to build a 160 metric tons per day (MT/day) methanol plant at “a manufacturing site in the Marcellus shale region” in 2017 (see Primus Building GTL Methanol Plant in Marcellus Region in 2017). The plant will convert Marcellus Shale gas into methanol. In November 2017, we learned that the plan had been delayed to 2018, and that the location would be in New Martisville, West Virginia (see Primus Green Energy’s WV Methanol Plant Online in 2018). Primus has moved the date once again–this time to 2020.
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30-Story Quench Tower Set in Place for Shell Ethane Cracker

On Sunday, what will be the tallest and heaviest piece of equipment that’s part of the mighty $6 billion Shell ethane cracker in Monaca (Beaver County), PA was hoisted into place. It’s called a “quench tower” and it looks like a humongous silo. It’s 300-feet high, which translates into about 30 stories. One of the world’s largest cranes had to be reserved a year ago in order to do the lifting. It took all day, but by 3:30 pm, the quench tower was standing upright–yet another monument to the power of the Marcellus Shale.
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Rumblings that PTT Will Once Again Delay OH Cracker Decision

PTT Global Chemical announced in April 2015 they want to build a $6 billion ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). Since that time PTT has purchased land, paid $100 million to get the cracker facility designed, and repeatedly said a final investment decision (FID) is imminent. It’s been imminent for more than two years now, and rumor has it the decision is delayed yet again.
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WV Leaders Discuss “Downstream” NatGas Development

Some 200 business and government leaders in West Virginia attended the state’s Economic Outlook Conference in Charleston this past Wednesday. A key focus of the event was a panel discussion on the topic of “downstream” natural gas development–meaning ethane cracker plants and manufacturing plants to take advantage of the coming flood of cheap plastics from cracker plants. The speakers spoke of urgency, to prevent a generational opportunity from slipping away.
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