CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio’s private nonprofit development corporation announced Friday it will provide a $20 million grant to one of the developers of a proposed multi-billion dollar ethane “cracker” plant to pay a contractor to complete “critical” site engineering and site preparation work.
Money from the revitalization grant for PTT Global Chemical America will be paid directly to the engineering firm Bechtel Corp, said JobsOhio spokesman Matt Englehart.
The support of JobsOhio has been vital, and the partnership “continues to work toward a final investment decision” in the first half of this year, said Dan Williamson, a spokesman for PTT Global and its partner, Daelim Chemical USA.
The economically struggling Appalachian region surrounding southeast Ohio’s Belmont County where the plant would be built has been eagerly anticipating that decision for several years. Thousands of constructions construction jobs and hundreds of permanent positions would be created if the plant is built.
The plant would convert — crack — molecules of ethane, a byproduct of natural gas drilling, into ethylene, a raw material used to manufacture plastic products.
Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said this week he believes the plant will be built.
“That’s the indication I get,” DeWine said. “I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’m optimistic.”