News Archive

Economic impact of oil and gas boom a positive for eastern Ohio

WALNUT CREEK – An Ohio State economics professor believes Ohio should use the economic windfall from the oil and gas boom to create a legacy of prosperity for the region.
“We’ve got to hold our policy makers accountable for using these windfalls responsibly,” Matthew Roberts told those in attendance Friday at the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance annual meeting at the Carlisle Inn in Walnut Creek.

In decades past, southern Ohio was dependent on the coal and steel industries for prosperity, but those industries eventually fell into a state of disrepair, he said. “We need to be thinking about that, and policy makers need to be thinking about that.”

State and local leaders should be focused on what will happen to the economy in 20 or 30 years, he said.

“The goal should be that in 20 years, there will be no need for the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance,” Roberts said. Officials should make use…

Read More

Ohio moves step closer to landing natural gas cracker plant

April 22–One proposal to build an ethane cracker in Appalachia took a step forward this week while another hit a delay as companies mull the economics behind spending billions of dollars to convert shale gas to chemicals.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced Wednesday that PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company, along with Marubeni Corp., a Japanese company, picked a spot and will begin a permitting process seen as an early step to building a multibillion-dollar plant in Belmont County, west of Wheeling, W.Va.

“This is a very significant step, but there is still much work to be done,” said Matt Englehart, a spokesman for JobsOhio, an economic development nonprofit.

Cracker plants such as this, and those proposed by Royal Dutch Shell in Beaver County and by a Brazilian partnership in West Virginia, strip ethane from shale gas and convert it to ethylene to make plastics.

Industry leaders and economic development…

Read More

Belmont County named site for possible multibillion-dollar ‘cracker’ plant

Plant handling natural-gas component would be Thai-Japanese venture; final decision expected in 2016

It is not every day that elected officials from Appalachian Ohio get to announce the possibility of a multibillion-dollar development.

So Belmont County leaders had reason to enjoy news yesterday that a planned ethane “cracker” plant is envisioned for a site near the Ohio River. And they hope the news will be followed in about a year with a firm commitment by developers to build the project.

“This potentially can be, from a fiscal standpoint, one of the biggest developments ever in Ohio,” said Mark Thomas, a Belmont County commissioner. “To have it, potentially, in Belmont County, in southeastern Ohio, in Appalachia, is incredible.”

The developers are PTT Global Chemical of Thailand, a giant chemical and fuel-refining company, and Marubeni Corp. of Japan.

A cracker plant takes ethane — a component of…

Read More

Ethane cracker may be built in shale gas-rich Belmont County

COLUMBUS, Ohio  — A Thai petrochemical and refining company is considering Belmont County as a possible site to build a refinery that would make ethylene and other plastics from shale gas.

PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company and the Marubeni Corp., a Japanese investment adviser, have discussed the project for the last two years with JobsOhio and its regional arm, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth.

If built, such a refinery, often called a “cracker,” could cost several billion dollars, create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs.

Before choosing Belmont County, the developers looked at sites in the entire region where gas producers have been drilling wells in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The prolific production of these wells has led to steep declines in the price of regional gas, and for now, a slowdown in further drilling.

Read More

Archived News