The prospects for construction of a multibillion-dollar petrochemical plant in Ohio appear to have dimmed after a U.S. subsidiary of a South Korean company announced it was withdrawing as a partner in the project.
A joint statement issued early Tuesday by Daelim Chemical USA and the U.S. subsidiary of Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical cited the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price volatility for yet another delay in deciding whether the plant along the Ohio River would be built.
PTT Global Chemical America President and CEO Toasaporn Boonyapipat in a separate statement said the project remains a “top priority” as the company searches for a new equity partner and works toward “a final investment decision.”
The plant would convert — crack — molecules of ethane, a byproduct of natural gas drilling, into raw materials used to manufacture plastic and other products.
PTTGCA announced its partnership with Daelim in March 2018. A PTTGCA spokesman said Tuesday that the company has thus far spent around $200 million on engineering and planning.
JobsOhio, the state’s private nonprofit economic development arm, has contributed just over $70 million, including a $20 million grant in February to be paid directly to Bechtel Corp. to complete site engineering and site preparation at the site in Belmont County.