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Proposed Eastern Ohio Petrochemical Plant Adds South Korean Partner

Reid Frazier
Allegheny Front
A petrochemical plant owned by BASF along the Gulf Coast.

A petrochemical company from Thailand that has already invested $100 million in a facility in eastern Ohio is considering making an even bigger investment. But it’s not a done deal.

PTT Global is working with Daelim Industrial of South Korea on plans to build what’s called an "ethane cracker" on an existing fracking facility in Belmont County. Gov. John Kasich is calling it a home run. But he admits the game isn’t over yet.

“If we get it, this will be one of the most significant projects in the history of the state of Ohio,” Kasich said.

Kasich says he thinks it’ll happen because the site is the most shale rich piece of property in the United States.

The cracker facility would break down natural gas to create plastics. The project is expected to create a couple thousand jobs during its construction and employ 500 people once it is completed.

Environmental advocates have long been concerned because they say the project would produce more methane gas and could possibly contaminate groundwater. The Ohio Sierra Club posted concernsabout its opposition to the plan.

"This plant would subject Ohio communities to increased air pollution, not to mention the threat of fires, explosions, and other large-scale disasters," chapter director Jen Miller wrote. "The health and safety of Ohioans and those who live downstream on the Ohio River are worth more than fracked gas industry profits.”

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.