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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MPLX M-U Processing, Fractionation Plants Coming Online Soon

MPLX, formerly known as MarkWest Energy, recently released their second quarter 2019 update. There seems to be a new emphasis for MPLX on the Texas Permian play, which is detectable in the update. However, much of the company’s revenue continues to come from our region. A slide embedded deep in the Appendix of the latest slide deck tells an interesting story for us: Of the ten processing and fractionation plants MPLX is currently building or planning to build, six of them are in the Marcellus/Utica region. We have the list below.
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PA Playbook for Closed Coal Plant Sites: Replace w/NatGas, Petchem

Pennsylvania state officials in the Gov. Tom Wolf administration (yes, lib Dem Tom Wolf) are drawing up plans, a “playbook,” for how to redevelop the increasing number of coal-fired electric generating plants that are closing in the state. Most of those plans boil down to this: redevelop those sites as natural gas-fired electric plants and/or petrochemical plants. Both are tied directly to PA’s prolific Marcellus Shale. Who knew there was such common sense inside the Wolf Administration?
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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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KM Says Elba Island in “Advanced Stage” of Commissioning/Startup

Kinder Morgan (KM), perhaps the largest pipeline company in the United States, was first out of the chute yesterday with a financial and operational update for the second quarter. While KM maintains a number of pipelines in the northeast, primarily the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, our main focus in reviewing yesterday’s update is for new information about the long-delayed Elba Island LNG export facility along the coast of Georgia. Elba Island will export Marcellus/Utica molecules.

We updated this post on 7/19/19 with new information.
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Work Begins to Clear Site for NEPA Landlocked LNG Export Plant

Work begins to clear site for NEPA LNG plant (credit: Rocket-Courier)

Although we’ve recently reported several stories about the CEO of New Fortress Energy (see New Fortress Energy Founder/CEO Big-time Democrat Donor) and the company’s plan to build a new dock along the Delaware River to export LNG (see DRBC Approves New Fortress LNG/NGL Shipping Dock on Dela. River), we’ve not heard much about construction of the LNG plant itself, located in northeastern Pennsylvania. We have an update.
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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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Massive Explosion, Fire at Philadelphia Refinery

PES fire

Last Friday around 4 am there was a series of three explosions and a massive fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) Refining Complex, the East Coast’s oldest and largest oil refinery. It took fire fighters until Saturday afternoon to extinguish the blaze. The main concern was that if the fire reached a tank of hydrofluoric acid used in the refining process it would be released as hydrogen fluoride (a poison), affecting nearby residents. Fortunately that didn’t happen. The thing about the story that caught our attention is that propane and butane (potentially sourced from the Marcellus) are what fed the fire.
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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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First US “Small-Scale” LNG Facility Launches in Jacksonville, FL

JAX LNG (click for larger version)

Something’s happening in Jacksonville, Florida with respect to LNG. It seems LNG plants of various types are popping up all over in Jacksonville! Nearly one year ago Eagle LNG opened its Maxville facility which liquefies natural gas into LNG for loading onto ships that use it as fuel (see Marc/Utica Gas Trucked to Jacksonville, FL for Use in LNG Ship). Eagle LNG is also working on a full-blown (smallish) LNG export plant near Jacksonville too (see FERC Grants Final Enviro OK to Jacksonville, FL LNG Export Plant). What we weren’t aware of, coming out of nowhere, is another small-scale LNG facility in Jacksonville, the JAX LNG facility, which opened for business earlier this month.
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MarkWest Hopedale Plant Problem Knocks 2 Bcf/d Offline in OH, WV

A pipeline feeding the MarkWest Hopedale Fractionation Facility in Jewett, Ohio was knocked offline last Sunday, and that outage caused a cascading effect throughout the region that forced three gas processing plants in West Virginia to temporarily scale back (or stop) operations, which further caused a ~2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) decrease in gas flows on two interstate gas transmission pipelines. The good news is that the problem is now resolved.
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