Ethane, polyurethane processing to grow in West Virginia

Brazil-based Odebrecht intends to explore the development of a petrochemical complex in Wood County, W.Va.

The complex, to be called Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise (Ascent), would include an ethane cracker, three polyethylene plants, and associated infrastructure for water treatment and energy co-generation, Odebrecht said in a press release.

While a purchase option on the anticipated project site in Parkersburg, W.Va., has already been secured, “Ascent’s feasibility will depend on several important variables, including the contracting of long-term ethane supply, as well as financing, regulatory approvals, and appropriate governmental support,” according to Odebrecht.

The company said it will lead investment and financing for the Ascent project, as well as the operation of water and electric utilities.

Once investment for the project is completed, Odebrecht subsidiary Baskem America would be responsible for petrochemical-related activities for Ascent, including the marketing of polyethylene produced at the plant.

The proposed petrochemical complex follows a rush of previously announced processing projects intended to enhance the long-term development and viability of shale oil and gas production in the Marcellus shale (OGJ, May 7, 2012, p. 88).

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