PTTGC America, part of PTT Global Chemical Public Co. Ltd., has repaid $20 million to Ohio's private economic development office after not making an investment decision in 2020 on a proposed plastics and petrochemicals plant in the state.
A company spokesman confirmed in an email to Plastics News that the firm remains committed to building the multibillion-dollar project in Dilles Bottom as it continues to seek an investment partner.
"PTTGCA is convinced this is a viable project, which is why the company continues to invest its time and resources into it," the spokesman said.
The $20 million was paid to Bechtel Corp. in 2019 to complete site engineering and site preparation for a plant that would convert ethane from locally sourced natural gas into different types of polyethylene resin.
In an Associated Press story this week, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted expressed skepticism about whether the Ohio plant would be built.
"They can't find a partner because of market conditions," Husted said. "They're the ones who made the promise on what they're going to do, and it's up to them."
Husted, a Republican, added that the site, which is owned by PTTGCA, would be attractive to other developers.
PTTGCA also is in the process of renewing an air permit for the site, the spokesman said. The firm has cleared land there but has not made a final decision on the project. An existing air permit for the site was issued in late 2018 but expired Feb. 24.
PTTGCA has invested more than $300 million in the Ohio project and "has prioritized identifying potential partners in order to move the project forward," officials said. Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. of South Korea withdrew from the project in mid-2020.
The project was first proposed in 2015. If the plant is built, it would be the second major PE resin complex to be built in the region to take advantage of shale gas feedstock.
Shell Polymers will open a PE plant with 3 billion pounds of annual capacity in Monaca, Pa., later this year. That site will be the first U.S. PE plant built outside of the Gulf Coast in at least 40 years.