Ohio petrochemical project faces high risks and shaky outlook

Updated: Mar 24

PTTGC plan under pressure from increased competition and market uncertainty

March 21, 2020 (IEEFA U.S.) – Plans to build a new petrochemical complex in Belmont County, Ohio face myriad market and other challenges, according to a report released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

The project is to be undertaken by Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical (“PTTGC”) and Dailem of South Korea with funding from the state’s economic development arm.  PTTGC has delayed making a final decision on whether to move forward with the project but says it will do so by the end of June 2020.


The IEEFA report, Proposed PTTGC Petrochemical Complex in Ohio Faces Significant Risks, questions whether the project will provide the anticipated jobs, tax revenues and other spinoff benefits to the State and the people of southeastern Ohio, as proponents claim. It is part of a larger plan to establish a second U.S. petrochemical hub in the Ohio River Valley, akin to the one situated along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

“The risks are becoming insurmountable. The price of plastics is sinking and the market is already oversupplied due to industry overbuilding and increased competition,” said Tom Sanzillo, IEEFA’s director of finance and author of the report.

The report identifies principal risks as:

Plastics prices today are 40% below the 2010-2013 period when the project was originally proposed. Weak prices will drive profit margins below investment targets.   

Oversupply from a global industry-wide plastics buildout is likely to drive prices and revenues down. Supply/demand imbalances are likely to last through 2026.  

PTTGC faces stiff competition from major companies – ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Chevron ‒ that have existing relationships in the U.S. market. 

Slower U.S. (and global) economic growth projections by the International Monetary Fund suggest a slowdown that will impact both volume and prices.

PTTGC risks negative credit actions from pursuing the Ohio project at this turbulent time.  Uncertainty over federal government policies add to the risk factors.

JobsOhio, the state’s privatized economic development arm, has provided $50 million in pre-development grants to PTTGC in the past two years as an incentive for the company to move forward with the full investment. The company estimates that construction will take 3½ years to complete.

The question for decision makers who are looking to provide jobs, community revitalization and tax revenues for distressed communities is: will this project actually provide those benefits?” Sanzillo concluded.

Tom Sanzillo is IEEFA’s director of finance. Kathy Hipple is an IEEFA financial analyst. Suzanne Mattei is an IEEFA energy policy analyst.

Full report: Proposed PTTGC Petrochemical Complex in Ohio Faces Significant Risks

Media contact: Vivienne Heston (vheston@ieefa.org), tel: +1 (914) 439-8921


The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) conducts research and analyses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy. (www.ieefa.org)




The organization who manages this page and who is leading the efforts pertaining to protecting the Ohio River Valley from a petrochemical build-out is called Concerned Ohio River Residents(CORR). Click HERE to view our Facebook page. We are Ohio Valley citizens concerned about the extremely detrimental toll that the PTT Global ethane cracker plant will take on our health, air, water and future if it is built, and we are organizing an effort to stop it from coming to the beautiful Ohio Valley. This website is dedicated to informing the public about the proposed project and the plethora of negative effects that it will bring if built, as well as being a resource that provides anyone the tools and connections needed to get involved. We are supported by our partners who are other grassroots organizations (some national, some more local).

A petrochemical and refining company named PTT Global Chemical has proposed to build an ethane chemical "cracker" plant in Dilles Bottom, OH- about 5 miles south of Shadyside, OH and directly West across the Ohio River from Moundsville, WV. This is a Thailand-based company. Cracker plants essentially take ethane produced from fracked gas and turn it into plastic pellets that will then be shipped to other companies that will use them to create plastic products. Other products are created at these types of facilities as well, however the majority of the process will be for plastic creation at this plant if it is built. Please see the 'What is a Cracker Plant?' tab to learn more about the physical process. The Plant IS NOT a done deal yet. Local opposition is important at this time. Please see the "Get Involved" tab to explore other ways your voice can be heard. The Ohio Valley deserves better than this toxic industry. We deserve something sustainable and something that won't pollute our air and water more than it already is and something that won't turn into a bust after a few decades. We are standing in solidarity together and advocating for a better future for our region and our planet.

Send an email to info@pttgcamerica.com and express your personal concerns pertaining to the cracker plant directly to the company or click here to be directed to the company contact page.

The following non-profit organizations are partnering with CORR to carry out the mission:

FreshWater Accountability Project (based in Ohio)

Buckeye Environmental Network (based in Ohio)

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (based in WV)



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T: 740-738-3124

E: ConcernedOhioRiverResidents@yahoo.com