April 30, 2015
The development of North American shale gas has led to a number of ethane cracker project announcement in North America. However, recent news about the construction of ethane crackers is mixed.
Petrochemical Company Braskem SA, is going to re-evaluate their plans to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker complex in West Virginia on hold. The project known as Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise, or ASCENT was first announced in November 2013. The good news is that plans have not been cancelled altogether, but rather they want to pause to evaluate the impact of lower oil prices on the project scope. A recent article in the Pittsburgh Business Times quotes, Fernando Musa, CEO of Braskem America, as saying “This is something that we will continue to pursue and look for the right timing and moment to invest,” he said. Read the full article.
On a positive note, recently, Governor John R. Kasich announced that PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company and their project partner Japan based Marubeni Corporation, selected a site in Belmont County, Ohio to potentially build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant. Over the next 12-18 months they will complete the detailed engineering design and permitting. If constructed, the cracker would utilize ethane extracted from the region’s Marcellus and Utica Shale formations. An ethane cracker in Ohio would help facilitate additional investments, provide job opportunities and reduce transportation costs for manufacturers in the area. Read the full press release.
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