PTT says committed to proposed Ohio petrochemical plant

Nov 18 (Reuters) - A U.S. subsidiary of state-owned Thai oil and gas company PTT PCL said it is working to “move forward” a proposed petrochemical plant in Ohio that will turn ethane into plastics and provide a regional economic boost.

Reports last week said PTT had instructed its PTT Global Chemical America (PTTGCA) subsidiary to review plans for the plant because of a change in investment conditions.

Those conditions included the election of Joe Biden as U.S. president, which will likely result in a change in U.S. trade and investment policies, an article last week in The Nation (Thailand) newspaper said.

“PTTGCA is working to move the project forward, continuing to invest its time and resources with the goal of creating thousands of jobs and transforming the regional economic landscape,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The project has not at any point been put on hold,” it said, adding it looked forward to “making announcements of the project’s progression in the weeks and months ahead”.

In June, PTTGCA said it delayed making a final investment decision to build the ethane cracker, which analysts estimate will cost $5.7 billion, from the first half of 2020 to the first half of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company has said that if it were not for the pandemic, the plant would likely already be under construction.

The ethane cracker is designed to produce about 1.5 million metric tons of ethylene per year and will take 4-6 years to build.

In addition to PTTGCA’s project, Royal Dutch Shell PLC is building an ethane cracker nearby in western Pennsylvania that is expected to enter service in the early 2020s.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Barbara Lewis