Odebrecht's proposed W Virginia PE complex secures 50% of its feed

08 August 2014 21:20 Source:ICIS News

OdebrechtHOUSTON (ICIS)--Odebrecht's proposed polyethylene (PE) complex in West Virginia has recently secured close to 50% of its feedstock following a new supply agreement it signed with Range Resources, Braskem said on Friday.

While Odebrecht would build the project, Braskem would operate it.

In addition to Range, Antero Resources has also agreed to supply ethane for the proposed project.

The Ascent (Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise) complex would be built in Wood county, West Virginia, and it would have an ethane cracker and three PE units.

The capacity of Ascent has not been announced, but Braskem CEO Carlos Fadigas has said earlier that it could match the scope of the Ethylene XXI project it is developing in Mexico with Grupo Idesa.

Ethylene XXI involves a 1.05m tonne/year cracker, two high density PE (HDPE) plants with capacities of 350,000 tonnes/year and 400,000 tonnes/year, as well as one 300,000 tonne/year low density PE (LDPE) plant.

Regarding Ascent, the corporate structure has yet to be defined, Braskem said.

Ascent could be one of two new chemical complexes developed in the northeast US, taking advantage of new supplies of natural gas liquids (NGLs) made possible by the advent of shale gas.

Shell may also build a PE complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania.

In June, a Shell executive said the company had signed 10 third-party contracts related to the project, and an air quality permit has been filed with Pennsylvania.

Shell also has done sourcing work on where to get the ethane for the complex.

Linde is conducting the front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for the project, which along with the world-scale ethane cracker could have a polyethylene (PE) unit. Previous plans for a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit at the site have been shelved, Shell said. The producer has not disclosed possible specific nameplate capacities.

Additional reporting by Jeremy Pafford

By Al Greenwood