The JobsOhio economic development firm has given a $20 million grant to a petrochemicals project proposed by PTT Global Chemical and Daelim Industrial Co. for Dilles Bottom, Ohio.
The grant will be paid to engineering firm Bechtel for engineering work on the project. A final decision on the project, which likely would include polyethylene resin production, has yet to be made by state-owned PTT of Thailand and Daelim of South Korea.
"JobsOhio's assistance facilitates the efforts of [PTT and Daelim] to move forward on critical site-related engineering and site preparation work in a comprehensive and timely manner," JobsOhio spokesman Matt Englehart said in an email.
"With the completion of this ongoing work, Ohio will have an invaluable asset on the Ohio River that will maximize the attractiveness of the Belmont County site for a positive final investment decision," he added.
PTT spokesman Dan Williamson said that the grant provides the project with the necessary resources to continue engineering work and site preparation that must be done in the coming months. PTT and Daelim "are sincerely grateful to JobsOhio, which has been a steadfast and supportive partner without whom this project would not be possible," he added.
A previous $30 million grant from JobsOhio to the project in 2018 was used for site preparation. Williamson said that the project team continues to work toward a final investment decision, which it anticipates will come in the first half of 2020.
Several petrochemical projects have been proposed in recent years for the Appalachia region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia because of access to large deposits of natural gas, which can be used as a feedstock for resins and other products. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and horizontal drilling have allowed the Marcellus and Utica shale fields to be developed in the last decade, producing large amounts of natural gas.
PTT officials first discussed the proposed project in 2015. To date, the only major petrochemicals development underway in the region is a major complex being developed by Shell Chemical in Monaca, Pa. That project — about 80 miles north of the PTT/Daelim site — will have more than 3 billion pounds of annual PE capacity and is expected to be completed in the early 2020s.
Columbus, Ohio-based JobsOhio is a private nonprofit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio.