PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) pcl, Thailand’s state-owned petrochemical and refining company, has enlisted an international consortium of engineering firms to conduct preliminary design work and cost estimates for its proposed ethane cracker in Southeast Ohio.

A day after PTTGC said last week that it would invest $100 million in early work for what could be a nearly $6 billion facility, California-based Bechtel Corp. confirmed that it had been selected as a member of the consortium (see Shale Daily, Sept. 3). Bechtel has worked on petrochemical projects for the last 60 years and has completed large projects in the United Arab Emirates, China and Canada. It is currently working on an ethylene plant in Baytown, TX.

PTTGC has also selected JGC America Inc., a subsidiary of the Japan-based JGC Corp., and Samsung Engineering America, an affiliate of the global electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. PTTGC has also signed a purchase option agreement for key properties in Mead Township along the Ohio River in Belmont County for the proposed site, which is located at the heart of the Utica Shale.

The cracker would utilize Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas. More specifically, Bechtel said the natural gas would be converted into ethylene, high-density polyethylene, high-purity ethylene oxide and mono-ethylene glycol, which are building blocks for plastics. Ethylene, for example, would be converted into high-density polyethylene, which is used to make trash bags, diapers, bottle caps and water pipes, among other things.

Both JGC and Samsung Engineering also have extensive experience in the petrochemical space. PTTGC has said it would take up to a year to determine the economic feasibility of the project (see Shale Daily, April 23). A final investment decision is not expected until 2016 or 2017.

PTTGC’s proposed facility is one of four others that have been announced for the region (see Shale Daily, May 2, 2014; Nov. 14, 2013; Jan 19, 2012; June 7, 2011). None of those projects have broken ground.