PTTGC America LLC has signed a long-term ethane feedstock agreement for a shale-based petrochemicals complex proposed for Ohio.
Houston-based PTTGCA, a unit of PTT Global Chemical Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand, signed the agreement with Range Resources Appalachia LLC, a producer of natural gas and natural gas liquids with operations in western Pennsylvania, officials said in a Sept. 23 news release. Ethane is a feedstock used to make ethylene, which is then converted into polyethylene resin.
Under the agreement, Range will provide 15,000 barrels per day of ethane as feedstock for the planned complex along the Ohio River in Belmont County. PTTGCA will use the ethane to make PE resin.
The agreement is based on PTTGCA reaching a final investment decision on the Ohio Petrochemical Project. Range Resources "is another example of the outstanding partners we are bringing together to make this world-scale petrochemical complex a reality," PTTGCA President and CEO Toasaporn Boonyapipat said in the release.
Range Resources President and CEO Jeff Ventura added that the agreement "further demonstrates our commitment to investing in our community, while growing regional demand for our products."
Once built, the complex will be one of the largest manufacturing investments in Ohio, officials said. The project will have annual production of about 3.5 billion pounds of PE resin. It's expected to create hundreds of full-time jobs and thousands of construction jobs over a five-year construction period.
In June, PTTGCA spokesman Dan Williamson said that a final investment decision on the project will be based on "a long view of industry and consumer markets, not temporary fluctuations and trends."
Daelim Industrial Co. of South Korea withdrew as an investor in the project in July, leaving state-owned PTT Global as the site's only developer. PTT officials said at the time that the proposed complex "continues to be a top priority" for the firm and that they "are in the process of seeking a new partner whilst working toward a final investment decision."
Earlier this year, the proposed project received a $20 million grant from the JobsOhio economic development firm. The grant will be paid to engineering firm Bechtel for engineering work on the project. A previous $30 million grant from JobsOhio to the project in 2018 was used for site preparation.
PTT officials first discussed the proposed project in 2015. Shell Chemical is developing a major petrochemicals complex in Monaca, Pa. That project — about 80 miles north of the PTT site — will have more than 3 billion pounds of annual PE capacity and is expected to be completed in the early 2020s.
Several petrochemical projects have been proposed 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.