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

Akro-Plastic buying German subsidiary from Metabolix

October 24, 2014 3:32 pm ET

Akro-Plastic GmbH, a Niederzissen, Germany-based plastic compounder, has purchased the assets of Metabolix Inc.'s subsidiary in Germany.    More

Image

BASF pre-tax earnings rise, but will miss financial targets for 2015

October 24, 2014 10:16 am ET

BASF SE has raised its expectations for pre-tax earnings in 2014 but warned that it would not hit its financial targets for next year.    More

Image

Sabic, Shell cancel expansion for SADAF joint venture in Saudi Arabia

October 24, 2014 9:19 am ET

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell have cancelled plans to expand an existing petrochemical joint venture in Saudi Arabia following...    More

Image

Sadara CEO says Middle East now has 20 percent of global ethylene capacity

October 24, 2014 9:33 am ET

Sadara CEO Ziad Al-Labban claims that the Middle East's ethylene capacity is now 20 percent of global production.    More

Image

PolyOne increases quarterly profits despite falling sales

October 23, 2014 4:55 pm ET

North American compounding leader PolyOne Corp. saw its third-quarter profit increase, even as sales fell vs. the year-ago period.    More

Market Reports

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

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

More Events