Ethane supply secured for proposed W.Va. ethylene cracker

Brazil-based Odebrecht SA subsidiary Odebrecht Oil & Gas SA has let a contract to Antero Resources Inc. to become the anchor ethane supplier for the joint-venture’s proposed Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise (Ascent) petrochemical complex in Wood County, W.Va.

Under the agreement, Antero will provide the Ascent complex 30,000 b/d of ethane, which represents almost half of the volume required to operate the plant’s planned ethane cracker to be located in Parkersburg, W.Va., according to Antero.

Antero’s supply of ethane to Ascent will be used to produce polyethylene, the company said.

The supply agreement remains contingent upon Odebrecht reaching final investment and construction decisions following the completion of a multiyear feasibility analysis, according to Antero.

The Ascent project, which Odebrecht first announced in November 2013, would include an ethane cracker, three polyethylene plants, and associated infrastructure for water treatment and energy cogeneration. At the time, Odebrecht said the project’s feasibility would depend on several important factors, including securing a long-term ethane supply, financing, regulatory approvals, and government support (OGJ Online, Nov. 15, 2013).

Once investment for the project is completed, Odebrecht subsidiary Braskem America would be responsible for petrochemical-related activities for Ascent, including the marketing of the plant’s polyethylene production, according to Odebrecht.

A timetable for the project has not been disclosed.

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