Aither Chemicals mulls plans for cracker and PE plant in Marcellus Shale region

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: April 18, 2013 12:00 pm ET
Updated: April 18, 2013 2:22 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.VA. — Aither Chemicals LLC has its eye on building a natural gas-based cracker unit that would make polyethylene and related products at a location in Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia.

Access to newly discovered natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region is a key to the project for South Charleston, W. Va.-based Aither.

"The purpose is to locate a cracker at the source of the raw material," spokesman Jason Keeling said in an April 18 phone interview. "We're still in the process of identifying various partners and looking at potential sites."

In mid-2012, Aither held an "open season" in which potential customers and products for the proposed plant were identified. Global materials maker Bayer MaterialScience LLC worked with Aither on that process, which resulted in PE, ethylene, ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol and acetic acid being identified as the products that would be the focus of Aither's commercial production.

At the time, Aither officials said the firm received positive response from potential purchasers of those products, as well as from technology licensors, engineering procurement and construction companies, potential licensees and companies considering relocation to the Marcellus region.

No timetable for a decision is in place, Keeling said, but the firm previously said plant construction would cost $750 million over a period of two to three years. The plant would generate annual sales of about $450 million, depending on product mix and location.

On the jobs front, the proposed Aither plant would create 200 permanent jobs and 2,000 temporary construction jobs. Indirect job creation from the project could result in as many as 1,400 more permanent jobs, officials said.

Aither's proprietary production process would allow for lower energy inputs and lower carbon dioxide output, as well as lower capital and operating costs and a shorter time to commercial operations, officials said.

Aither was launched in 2010 by the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC), an R&D firm based in South Charleston. Other investors in the company include INNOVA Commercialization Group, the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust and TechConnect West Virginia.

Aither is one of three firms that have proposed new petrochemical plants in the Marcellus region as a result of the natural gas boom. Shell Chemical has proposed a massive project in Monaca, Pa., near Pittsburgh. Appalachian Resins is planning a smaller-scale PE and ethylene unit at an undisclosed site in West Virginia.


Comments

Aither Chemicals mulls plans for cracker and PE plant in Marcellus Shale region

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: April 18, 2013 12:00 pm ET
Updated: April 18, 2013 2:22 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Compounding products and services

November 24, 2014 9:47 am ET

   More

Image

Dow reaches agreement with Third Point

November 21, 2014 9:11 am ET

Dow Chemical Co. has reached an agreement with the investment firm that has been trying to force the company to sell off some assets.More

Image

Ineos making its UK shale play

November 21, 2014 9:29 am ET

Chemical giant Ineos Group AG is planning to be the biggest player in the United Kingdom's shale gas industry.    More

Image

Total to buy majority stake in Polyblend

November 20, 2014 10:04 am ET

French oil and gas giant Total SA will buy a 68 percent stake in Germany's Polyblend GmbH, a subsidiary of Polymer-Chemie GmbH.    More

Image

Silica can replace plastic microbeads

November 19, 2014 6:00 am ET

As cosmetics and soap makers face pressure to remove plastic microbeads from their products, Evonik Industries touts its new silica-based microbeads a...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events