Brazil Odebrecht mulls ethane cracker, PE complex in W Virginia

14 November 2013 19:43 Source:ICIS News

Brazil Odebrecht mulls ethane cracker, PE complex in W Virginia HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil-based construction firm Odebrecht is considering developing an ethane cracker and three polyethylene (PE) plants in West Virginia, the state's governor said on Thursday.

The complex, to be called the Ascent - Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise - would be built in Wood County in West Virginia, said the US state's governor, Earl Ray Tomblin.

Odebrecht would oversee the project's investment and financing as well as the operation of water and electric utilities, Tomblin said. Brazil-based Braskem would be responsible for petrochemical-related activities as well as marketing the PE.

A purchase order has already been secured, Tomblin said. However, the governor did not disclose a possible timeline or capacity of the complex.

Whether the Ascent project goes through will depend on several factors, including securing a long-term ethane supply agreement as well as financing, regulatory approval and government support.

West Virginia is near the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, which have proven to be rich in natural gas.

The governor did not specify if the Ascent site would be on one being vacated by SABIC Innovative plastics.

Earlier on Thursday, SABIC said it is shutting its acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plant in Washington, West Virginia.

SABIC has also signed an initial purchase agreement for the possible sale of the Washington property, the company said. The company may build operations at the site, although SABIC did not name the company or elaborate on the operations.

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By Al Greenwood