No Cracker Announcement This Year
DILLES BOTTOM –Santa Claus and his team of reindeer will not deliver a $6 billion ethane cracker during their 2017 flight across the Upper Ohio Valley — and some Shadyside and Powhatan Point residents are starting to wonder if the proposed petrochemical complex will ever become reality.
Government officials initially announced the potential PTT Global Chemical project in April 2015. Then, in February, representatives of the Thailand-based firm said they anticipated making a final investment decision by the end of this year.
However, PTT spokesman Dan Williamson said Thursday that while progress continues toward a decision, there will be no announcement until at least 2018.
“This is a big, big, complicated project,”
“No one has ever built something like this in Ohio. There are so many moving parts. We had hoped to have a final investment decision this year and did not meet that.”
Williamson declined to cite a specific reasons for the delay, adding that negotiations to acquire all the property necessary to build the plant continue. He also said San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp. and Irving, Texas-based Fluor Corp. continue working on plans to build the massive facility.
“The prices of natural gas and ethane are not a concern. The availability of construction workers is also not a concern,”
“The labor leaders in the Upper Ohio Valley have demonstrated the talent and dedication they have to bring to this project.”
Officials have said the cracker plant would generate up to 6,000 temporary construction jobs. The facility likely would lead to hundreds of full-time petrochemical jobs for those in fields such as engineering.
It would also bring certain forms of air pollution, however, while dramatically changing the landscape of the Dilles Bottom area.
Royal Dutch Shell is in the process of building a similar plant in Beaver County, Pa., although industry leaders maintain there is more than enough ethane in the supply chain to support at least one more Appalachian cracker.