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Thai Company Options More Land for Ohio Ethane Cracker

PTT Global Chemical pcl (PTTGC) has signed purchase option agreements with eight landowners near the proposed site of its multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Ohio, giving the company the ability to buy the properties if it were to move forward with the facility.

Spokesman Dan Williamson said the company is sending good faith payments to property owners for the agreements, with six sent as of Wednesday.

The agreements follow PTTGC’s decision to exercise its purchase option on a 167-acre site along the Ohio River in Belmont County. The company in June paid FirstEnergy Corp., which once operated a coal-fired power plant there, $13.8 million for the property. It has yet to exercise its purchase option for another 300-acre site owned by the Ohio-West Virginia Excavating Co. to the south of the former FirstEnergy site. If the company goes forward with the project, it would need about 500 acres of land.

PTTGC, Thailand’s state-owned petrochemical and refining company, said in 2015 it would invest $100 million for the cracker’s preliminary design work. Affiliate PTTGC America LLC has worked with two engineering firms, but in February the company delayed a final investment decision (FID) until later this year. That decision was initially expected in late 2016 or early 2017.

Williamson said this week the company is still not ready to make an FID. If built, the cracker would consume 65,000 b/d of ethane to make ethylene, a key building block for plastics. 

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