By JENNIFER COMPSTON-STROUGH for The Intelligencer of Wheeling
DILLES BOTTOM, Ohio — Nearly $100 million is being invested in site preparation work for a proposed ethane cracker plant in Belmont County.
JobsOhio, a private nonprofit economic development organization, awarded a $30 million revitalization grant to PTT Global Chemical America of Thailand and Daelim Industrial Co. of South Korea, which have partnered to explore construction of a petrochemical plant along the Ohio River in Mead Township at Dilles Bottom, south of Shadyside. The companies have committed $65 million for the site work through JobsOhio for a total investment of $95 million.
The proposed complex, which former Gov. John Kasich said could cost up to $10 billion to construct, is projected to process 1.5 million tons of ethane from the local natural gas stream annually. Cracker plants use ethane to create ethylene, a component of plastics and chemicals such as antifreeze, solvents and cleaners, as well as many consumer products including textiles, adhesives and paints. Ethane is an abundant part of the natural gas stream found in the Utica and Marcellus shales that underlie much of Eastern Ohio and parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.