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

Medical compounder adding two extrusion lines

February 25, 2015 3:49 pm ET

Compounding Solutions LLC plans to add two new co-rotating twin-screw extruders this year to raise its capacity and provide more flexibility.    More

Image

Solvay building PEEK unit in Georgia

February 24, 2015 8:36 am ET

Solvay SA is building a polyether etherketone resin plant in Augusta, Ga. The unit will be the company's second PEEK plant — the Brussels,...    More

Image

Polymer Points: Commodity resin prices start the year on a downward slide

February 20, 2015 6:00 am ET

The downward pricing pressure of late 2014 carried into the first month of 2015 for most North American commodity resins.    More

Image

DeFalco retiring after 17 years as Ampacet executive

February 20, 2015 2:36 pm ET

It’s a major understatement to say that Ampacet Corp. grew under the leadership of Robert DeFalco.    More

Image

Coke making progress with plant-based PET

February 20, 2015 2:12 pm ET

ATLANTA — With 1.9 billion servings per day, Coca-Cola Co. relies on a number of ways to deliver beverages around the world: fountain dispensers...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion 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

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events