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PTT Global, Daelim purchase necessary land to build cracker plant in Belmont County

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Another step has been taken toward the construction of a potential ethane cracker plant in Belmont County.

Recently, PTT Global Chemical America partnered with the South Korea-based Daelim on the project. The collaboration brings plans for a larger plant and more jobs than what was originally planned in 2015. They’re now looking at a potential $7 billion-$8 billion investment.

On Wednesday, Belmont County Port Authority Director Larry Merry, along with county commissioners, confirmed the two companies recently purchased more property near Dilles Bottom on top of the 168 acres they purchased last year. With this week’s closing, they would have the 500 acres needed to build the plant.

“(Tuesday), they went ahead and purchased an additional 319 acres,” Merry said. “They now own the site that is necessary to build the cracker, and this is just one more step in a very long process that is a part of this project,” Merry said.

"It's a major decision by PTT and Daelim, two great world-class companies. We are here to assist them and help them as they go through the long process on a very big project."

PTT Global Chemical America has also signed a memorandum of understanding with JobsOhio regarding the proposed cracker plant.

While no decision has been made on whether they'll actually build in Belmont County, the purchase of additional land makes the project look more promising.

"This is just one step,” Merry said. “There's been no final decision yet, and we want to make that clear. This is just a part, but also lets people have an understanding of the magnitude of some of the decisions they are making.”

A site that would affect residents and travelers.

Wayne Kraeer is a truck driver from Pennsylvania. He's seen the effects of having a cracker plant in his area, and thinks the Ohio Valley can benefit.

"I think it would help out well. It's a great opportunity to get jobs for people in this area,” Kraeer said.

While some locals said they think it will be good for the Valley, Joseph Vitiello of Shadyside isn't so sure.

He's worried about potential health hazards and real estate problems.

"Just think about from here, Dillies Bottom, to Moundsville, to Shadyside,” Vitiello said. “It's a bad thing, I think. They said it's going to bring a lot of jobs, but what about our health, and what about our property? It ain't going to be worth a nickel."

PTT recently announced a partnership with South Korean company Daelim. They laid out a projection for the site, should they choose to go forward.

Belmont County officials said nothing has been officially decided yet, but they will assist when needed.

"It's a major decision by PTT and Daelim. Two great, world class companies. We're just here to assist them and help them as they go through the long process on a very big project,” Merry said. "This is just one step. There's no final investment decision yet. We want to make that very clear to folks."

This is very early in the process.

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