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

Axiall resumes operations at damaged Lake Charles PVC feedstock plant

April 15, 2014 4:41 pm ET

Axiall Corp. has resumed operations at its PVC feedstock plant that was damaged by a fire in December.
More

Image

Power failure shuts down two PE resin units in Texas

April 15, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Two polyethylene resin units operated by Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP in Baytown, Texas, were closed from April 8-11 because of a power failure.    More

Shell Chemical to host public meetings to discuss plans in Pennsylvania

April 15, 2014 3:27 pm ET

Shell Chemical LP will host two public meetings on April 16 to discuss the possibility of building a major petrochemicals plant in the Pittsburgh...    More

Image

Despite struggles, Europe still key market in global resin picture

April 15, 2014 2:06 pm ET

Challenges and opportunities facing international plastics and chemicals markets were tackled by a trio of top executives at the IHS World...    More

Shintech in early stages of planning ethylene feedstock plant in Louisiana

April 15, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Shintech Inc. has filed an air permit with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality that would allow for the construction of a new unit with ...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events