PTT Global continues to explore possible Ohio cracker; Solvay to invest $70 million in West Virginia site; Harvey impacts Q3 earnings

Our pick of the latest petrochemicals news you need to know

PTT Global continues to explore Ohio cracker investment. Image: Pittsburgh Regional Alliance

PTT Global continues to explore possible Ohio cracker

PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest petrochemical company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JobsOhio regarding PTT’s proposed $6 billion chemical complex and ethane cracker.

PTT announced in April 2015 they are interested in building an ethane cracker plant complex in Belmont County, Ohio.

PTT said it will make a final investment decision by the end of this year.

Shell Chemical will build a major petrochemicals complex near Pittsburgh which will include an ethane cracker and a 1.6 million/tonne year polyethylene plant. Main construction will start by the fourth quarter of 2017, with commercial production expected to begin early in the next decade.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) recently published a West Virginia University study which found the creation of a Marcellus and Utica shale ethane storage hub could lead to 100,000 permanent jobs, and more than $36 billion in total investment.

Solvay to invest $70 million in West Virginia site

Solvay plans to double production capacity at its Willow Island, West Virginia site mainly to support its polymers line. Expansion work is expected to begin during the fourth quarter and the additional capacity to be operational by mid-2019.

Solvay produces its high molecular weight hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS) at the Willow Island site.

Solvay plans to build a second, fully independent high molecular weight HALS manufacturing unit at the site, the company said in a statement. 

Energy companies impacted during Hurricane shutdowns

Occidental Petroleum announced third quarter 2017 business impacts of Hurricane Harvey as operations have returned to pre-storm levels. Overall, the storm caused minimal disruptions to operations and Occidental expects this one-time financial and production impact to be limited to the third quarter.

Occidental Petroleum said it lost about $70 million in income when Hurricane Harvey forced it to shut down several Gulf Coast chemical facilities and its oil export terminal for days.

For the third quarter, the impacts of Hurricane Harvey are anticipated to be:
• Chemicals segment pre-tax income reduction of approximately $60 million
• Midstream segment pre-tax income reduction of approximately $10 million
• Permian Resources daily production reduced by approximately 1,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day
• Permian EOR was minimally impacted due to this asset area’s infrastructure position

The Houston oil company took an ethylene cracker and six other chemical facilities in Ingleside, Deer Park, Pasadena and LaPorte offline for days, with a few down through mid-September.

H.B. Fuller, however, posted strong Q3 results despite Hurricane Harvey impacts.

H.B. Fuller's revenue climbed 9.8% to $562.9 million during the third quarter, though profit of $25.1 million was down from a year earlier.

President and CEO Jim Owens said Hurricane Harvey didn't hinder the company's Q3 results but has caused a reduction in the full year forecast.

Hurricane Harvey struck the last week of H.B. Fuller’s quarter. The lost week of production and distribution reduced revenue by $3 million.

Dow to invest $210 million in Argentina

Dow Chemical will invest $210 million to improve a petrochemical complex in Argentina’s Buenos Aires province over the next two years, the company said in a statement.

The Buenos Aires complex produces ethylene and polyethylene used for packaging.