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INEOS Licenses Technology For Use at Proposed Ohio Ethane Cracker

INEOS Technologies has licensed its Innovene S Process, a slurry technology for the production of medium- and high-density polyethylene, to a subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical pcl (PTTGC), which is planning to build an ethane cracker in Ohio's Belmont County.

An affiliate of the petrochemical giant INEOS Group Ltd., Ineos Technologies develops and licenses its products to the global petrochemicals industry. The announcement was another step toward the construction of what PTTGC has said could be a nearly $6 billion facility. INEOS said it licensed the technology with a design capacity of 700 kilotons/year of polyethylene, which is a key building block in the manufacture of plastics.

PTTGC, a subsidiary of Thailand's oil and gas company, PTT pcl, said in September that it would spend $100 million on engineering design work for the facility, which would source ethane from the Marcellus and Utica shales (see Shale DailySept. 3). The company has signed contracts with a consortium of engineering firms to work on preliminary designs and cost estimates. It also has signed a purchase option agreement for key properties in Mead Township, OH, at the site of a coal-fired power plant that was retired in 2011.

General Manager of PTTGC America LLC Panod Awaiwanond said the project is based on "U.S. shale gas economics" and added that the location is a dynamic one that would utilize a highly skilled workforce. The Innovene S technology "fits with our economic and market needs to ensure a successful project for all of our new stakeholders,” he said.

PTTGC's proposal is one of four other ethane crackers that have been announced for the Appalachian Basin since 2011 (see Shale DailyMay 21, 2014; Nov. 14, 2013Jan. 19, 2012June 7, 2011). None of those projects have broken ground. PTTGC has said it would take up to a year to determine the economic feasibility of the facility and does not expect to make a final investment decision until 2017 at the latest.

INEOS Technologies signed similar agreements last year with Odebrecht SA's proposed ASCENT ethane cracker in Wood County, WV. Engineering design work has already been conducted for that facility and some necessary permits have been filed. In April, however, Odebrecht said the project was being put on hold pending further project analysis that was needed as a result of the commodities downturn (see Shale DailyApril 23).

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