PTTGCA advances proposed Ohio petrochemical complex

Oct. 12, 2020

PTTGC America LLC (PTTGCA), the US subsidiary of Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), has signed a long-term agreement with Range Resources Corp. subsidiary Range Resources-Appalachia LLC for supply of ethane feedstock to PTTGCA’s proposed 1.5 million-tonnes/year ethane cracker and petrochemical complex planned for Mead Township in Shadyside, Belmont County, Ohio (OGJ Online, June 8, 2020; Apr. 22, 2015).

As part of the agreement—which is contingent upon PTTGCA reaching final investment decision (FID) on the project—Range will 15,000 b/d of ethane as feedstock to the complex’s planned ethylene cracker with an ethane feed capacity of 100,000 b/d for production of polyethylene, PTTGCA and Range said in separate releases.

Ethane supplied to PTTGCA will be sourced from existing natural gas production and NGL processing plants in the region with the benefit of no additional transportation required, according to Jeff Ventura, chief executive officer and president of Range, a leading producer of natural gas and NGLs based in western Pennsylvania.

Slated for FID in early 2021, PTTGCA’s Ohio petrochemical complex, if approved, will be capable of producing 1.6 million tpy of polyethylene plastic resin used to make a variety of plastic products, the operator said.

This latest agreement for the proposed complex follows the withdrawal of Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. subsidiary Daelim Chemical USA LLC as a project equity partner in mid-July 2020 as a result of deteriorating market conditions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on oil price volatility, PTTGCA said on July 14.

While PTTGCA said in July that it expected the COVID-19 health crisis would lead to another 6-9-month delay in development of the complex, the operator reconfirmed that—despite Daelim’s withdrawal—it would continue advancing the project and was already in the process of seeking new potential partners.

Infrastructure agreement

On July 22, PTTGCA also announced execution of a precedent agreement with Energy Storage Ventures LLC subsidiary Mountaineer NGL Storage LLC outlining terms and conditions for development of the first underground NGL storage site in the heart of the Marcellus and Utica shale formation to provide storage and transportation services for the proposed PTTGCA complex.

As part of the agreement, Mountaineer will develop the underground salt caverns for NGL storage on a 200-acre site owned and operated by Mountaineer in Ohio’s Monroe County, about 8 miles south of the PTTGCA project site in Dilles Bottom.

The $250 million storage site is to be developed in two phases by creating multiple caverns in the existing underground salt formation, with each cavern equipped to store about 500,000 bbl of NGLs, including propane, butane, ethane and ethylene, PTTGCA said.

Phase 1 of the storage project—for which Mountaineer has obtained all required permits to begin construction—would include about 1.5 million bbl of storage and take 2-3 years to complete. A second 1.5-million phase also is planned to bring total capacity to about 3 million bbl, according to PTTGCA.

PTTGCA confirmed it also is working with Mountaineer on 1-million bbl of ethane storage as well as a pipeline that would link the storage site to the complex.

Proposed complex

According to a final air pollution permit-to-install (PTI) issued on Dec. 21, 2018, by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, PTTGCA’s proposed complex—which will be equipped with six ethane-cracking furnaces—will produce ethylene, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) using the following units and capacities:

  • Ethylene plant, 1. 5 million tpy.
  • HDPE Unit 1, 350,000 tpy.
  • HDPE Unit 2, 350,000 tpy.
  • LLDPE-HDPE Unit 1, 450,000 tpy.
  • LLDPE-HDPE Unit 2, 450,000 tpy.

The proposed multi-billion-dollar complex will also include on-site railcar and truck loading, supporting utilities, infrastructure, storage tanks, logistics facilities, and installations for either production or provision of required natural gas, water, air, nitrogen, steam, and electricity to support operation of process units, according to the PTI (OGJ Online, Apr. 29, 2020).